Democrat Ohio U.S. Senate candidate Tim Ryan invoked Infowars radio host Alex Jones to attack Republican J.D. Vance during Monday’s Ohio U.S. Senate debate, blasting the GOP nominee’s defense of Jones’ right to free speech.
Asked what he’d do to limit gun ownership, Ryan went on a wild tangent about school shootings and how Vance supports extremists like former President Donald Trump and Jones.
Tim Ryan just SLAMMED JD Vance during the debate for calling conspiracy theorist maniac Alex Jones "credible." Vance denied it. So we found the tape. Here it is spliced together with Vance's denial. pic.twitter.com/LCOB8zyR1A
— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) October 17, 2022
And here’s another example of how extreme J.D. is, right? We talk about the national abortion ban, we talked about… he thinks that the election was stolen, which was one of the reasons Trump agreed to support him. Alex Jones, a right-wing talk radio show with a huge following said that the Sandy Hook murders of those young precious babies in Connecticut, he said it was a hoax and he went on and on and said it was a hoax. I’ve met these families from Sandy Hook. Absolutely devastated. You lose a fourth grader to a madman. And this guy says it was a hoax. Our guy J.D. says this is one of the most credible news sources in the whole country, and he just got convicted and he just got sued to the tune of billions of dollars that he owes the families for putting them through this grief.
And I just want people to know, it’s like we’re running for the United States Senate. This is the highest office you can get in this country except for president. And he’s running around backing these extremists. The most extreme people in the country, a guy who denied Sandy Hook. He’s like, ‘No, he’s credible.‘
Vance responded that he “never said that,” and encouraged Ryan to roll footage of those claims, which did not happen.
It’s unclear where Ryan derived the claim that Vance believes Infowars is “one of the most credible news sources in the whole country.”
In a video tweeted by Ryan’s campaign team during the debate, Vance was interviewed about a 2021 tweet he made claiming Jones was more credible than MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
In the interview, Vance clarified:
We can talk about how I got in hot water with saying that Alex Jones was a more credible source of information than Rachel Maddow, but like one of the things that I saw in the reaction to that tweet was people are terrified of unconventional people, of people who don’t think the thoughts that they’re supposed to think, and that to me is like the opposite of what you’d want in an elite. You’d want an elite that’s willing to think outside the box, that’s willing to say, ‘Well maybe this is a crazy idea, but maybe it’s true.’
The sentiment that Jones is more reputable than Rachel Maddow is one likely shared by millions of Americans, however neither in the video nor the tweet does Vance say Jones is “one of the most credible news sources in the whole country.”
Additionally, Ryan’s claim that Jones was “convicted” is a far cry from what actually happened, as it implies Jones was actually afforded a fair trial. In reality, Jones was found liable in his defamation cases by default, and has pledged to appeal the rulings.
Ryan’s efforts to bash Vance with the guilt-by-association fallacy reek of desperation, and show how Jones’ demonization campaign is serving the establishment in more ways than one.
Here’s the portion of the debate cued up to the pertinent timestamp:
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