Sherrod Brown: New Republican Senate nominee 'not fighting for Ohio'

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Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) went after his opponent Bernie Moreno on Wednesday, a day after the Trump-backed Republican won the state’s contested primary.

Brown said in an MSNBC “Morning Joe” interview that the difference between him and Moreno is clear.

“My opponent has always looked out for himself. He’s even said he’s not going to work with people whom he disagrees with in Washington, which means he’s not fighting for Ohio,” Brown said. “He’s not representing Ohio.”

He specifically hit Moreno over his support of a national abortion ban, even after Ohio passed a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights last year.

“The arrogance of even though we set that by 13 points in the state, he’s going to fight against it, tells you he’s looking out for himself more than the people of Ohio,” Brown said.

“Standing up for people and fighting for Ohio,” he continued. “That’s my view of government and why I’m going to win, because you contrast that with a guy that’s just out for himself, that wants to override the state’s decisive vote for abortion rights, thinking politicians should do it and not women and their doctors.”

Former President Trump won Ohio by significant margins in both 2016 and 2020, but the three-term senator said he will overcome the disadvantage with proven service to constituents.

“We do it better in Ohio,” he said. “[Sen.] J.D. Vance [R-Ohio] told me that I do better constituent service. My office does.”

“Somebody calls about a Social Security check. Somebody calls about his mother on Medicaid,” he continued. “We go to bat for them. And that’s sort of the basic building block of government. That’s why we win.”

The Ohio Senate race is set to be one of the closest and most important of 2024, with Democrats hanging their hopes on Brown to keep their razor-thin majority. 

Moreno’s campaign shot back at the senator over the comments, highlighting his long career in Washington.

“While Bernie spent his life building a successful business and creating thousands of jobs in Ohio, Sherrod Brown has spent his entire life in politics collecting a taxpayer-funded paycheck, enriching himself, and siding with Washington insiders over Ohioans,” spokesperson Reagan McCarthy said in a statement to The Hill.

“It is sad that Sherrod is already panicking and resorting to lying about Bernie’s position on abortion because he knows he can’t defend his radical record of voting for Biden’s leftwing agenda 99% of the time,” she continued. “While Sherrod Brown believes in abortion on-demand, Bernie believes in reasonable standards to stop late-term abortion, paired with commonsense exceptions, that would put us in line with even the most leftwing countries in Europe.”

“Most importantly, Bernie supports pro-family policies that encourage families to have more kids, while making it less expensive to raise them,” she added.

Brown has led Moreno in early polling, with an Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey showing the senator with a 5-point lead — 39 percent to 34 percent — last week. Moreno performed weaker against Brown than his chief GOP primary rival, but won the primary Tuesday off the back of a strong Trump endorsement.

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