Two candidates for the U.S. Senate nearly came to blows during an ugly and profane fight at a Friday night primary debate in Ohio.
Video, which you can see above, shows state treasurer Josh Mandel standing up to challenge investment banker Mike Gibbons during a heated discussion over a stock trade.
“You may not understand this,” Gibbons told Mandel, who then stood up from his seat and confronted Gibbons at the event hosted by FreedomWorks.
“I do,” Mandel replied.
“You have never … you have never been in the private sector in your entire life,” Gibbons told Mandel.
“Two tours in Iraq. Don’t tell me I haven’t worked,” Mandel responded, raising his voice to Gibbons.
A moderator approached the two men and attempted to defuse the situation. As Mandel was taking his seat, Gibbons said, “You don’t know squat,” prompting Mandel to rise from his seat again. Gibbons then told Mandel to “back off.”
“You back off,” Mandel responded, telling Gibbons he’s “dealing with the wrong guy.”
“Watch what happens,” Mandel said. “You watch what happens.”
Mandel and Gibbons continued their feud offstage, with Gibbons’ team calling Mandel “unhinged” and Mandel further criticizing Gibbons’ investment record, Politico reported.
“Josh Mandel is unhinged, unfit and flailing — because he’s losing. He is only a professional at one thing: running for office,” said Samantha Cotten, Gibbons’ spokesperson. “He is hellbent on lying because he is failing. He doesn’t have the temperament, experience, or fortitude to be a U.S. senator and Ohio voters got a firsthand look at just how unprepared Josh Mandel is to be a leader and that will be reflected at the ballot on May 3.”
The two candidates have been locked in a tight race for first place in the Republican Senate primary, according to recent polling.
“Mike Gibbons got upset tonight that he was called out for his investments in Chinese oil,” said Scott Guthrie, Mandel’s campaign manager. “He claims not to remember the investment, but it’s part of a pattern of Gibbons’ entire career making money by taking American companies and selling them to foreign interests. While Ohioans are struggling to make ends meet in Joe Biden’s America, Mike Gibbons spent his entire career profiting by shipping jobs overseas and investing in places like China and Russia.”