J.D. Vance, Ohio's GOP nominee for the Senate, has come under fire from his rival, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, for his stance on Ukraine, but Vance told Newsmax on Thursday that while the war in Ukraine is a "very serious tragedy," the United States should concentrate its efforts and money at home first.
"My point is, and remains that, you can accept that what's going on in Ukraine is a very serious tragedy at a personal level, while also thinking that the focus of American policymakers should be on the problems here at home," the "Hillbilly Elegy" writer, who won the Ohio primary after he was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, told Thursday's "National Report."
"I think we have to be careful about letting the Biden administration off the hook," he added. "They're spending so much focus and the media is spending so much focus on Ukraine that they're not talking enough about the inflation problem. We're not talking enough about the border problem, and I actually think that [President Joe] Biden likes that because it distracts from his own failures right here."
The House has passed an additional $40 billion in funding and aid for Ukraine, but Vance said, if he was in the Senate now, he would not vote for the package to advance to Biden's desk for a signature.
"I don't think that we should be spending any more money unless it's on America's problems here at home, so I would make any additional aid for the Ukrainians conditional on sending money to the American southern border, or on actually trying to fix this terrible shortage of baby formula and hospital supplies," Vance said.
He added he does not agree with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has said he believes the war in Ukraine is America's priority at this point.
"I think that our top priorities are all of the economic problems that we have here at home," Vance said. "Over 100,000 people died of drug overdoses, and most of those drugs are Chinese fentanyl coming across the Mexican border into our country. I think the problems that we have here in the United States are much bigger priorities for our people, and certainly would be bigger priorities for me when I get to the U.S. Senate."
Vance also said he would not have voted for the bill that failed in the Senate on Wednesday to codify the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion, and slammed Ryan for calling on Congress to codify the landmark 1973 ruling giving women the right to choose to end pregnancies.
"Tim Ryan is one of the most radical people on abortion running for American political office today," Vance said. "He's defended abortion on demand up to 40 weeks. That is something that's out of step with the values of Ohio, but it's frankly out of the step with values very liberal countries in Europe that have much stricter abortion restrictions.
"I can accept that people can agree to disagree on where to draw the line here. That's fine. What isn't fine is this incredible barbarism that the modern Democrat Party is defending abortion up to 40 weeks."
He also slammed Biden for Wednesday's announcement from the Department of the Interior that oil drilling permits would not be granted in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
"This administration has pursued very anti-American energy policies," he said, adding Ryan has voted with Biden "100% of the time."
"I'm a Republican. He's a Democrat," he said. "It's fine if we disagree, but after two years, we should all be willing to accept that Joe Biden's policies are not good for this country. We shouldn't be doubling down on them. We should be going in a different direction."
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