Author and businessman J.D. Vance joined “Tucker Carlson Tonight” for his first interview since announcing a Republican bid for the U.S. Senate earlier Thursday.
Vance, author of critically-acclaimed “Hillbilly Elegy”, told Carlson that his bid has already rankled leaders in his own party’s establishment. He claims it because of his honesty and the fact he is untethered to traditional special interests and instead interested in the needs of the electorate.
“I think so far a lot of them are frustrated, and a little upset with me because I actually say what’s true—which is many of these people don’t care about their own voters, they think they’re either bigoted or they think they’re stupid,” Vance said. “They don’t understand their job in this country is to protect their own voters to serve their best interests. So a lot of established Republicans, just like a lot of the mainstream press and corporate media, they’re against me … and it’s fine.”
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is retiring in 2022, and the race has already garnered several candidates on both sides of the aisle including Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, former Ohio Republican chair Jane Timken, and former GOP State Treasurer Joshua Mandel.
Vance’s 2016 memoir tells the story of his upbringing in a struggling steel mill city and his roots in Appalachian Kentucky. The book became a New York Times bestseller and was made into a Netflix film.
“I care about this country, and I care about this state. If you think about the entire trajectory of American life over the last 30 or 40 years, you have elites in the ruling class that have plundered this country, that have made it harder for middle-class Americans to live a normal life,” Vance said. “When those Americans dare to complain about the conditions of their own country… about the southern border or jobs being shipped overseas—they get called racists and called bigots, xenophobes, or idiots. They need somebody who’s willing to speak for them and willing to fight for them.”