Exclusive–Andy Surabian: J.D. Vance’s ‘Pivotal Moment’ Was Standing Against U.S. Intervention in Ukraine

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance scored a “pivotal moment” during the Republican primary when he stood effectively alone in the race against American intervention in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, his senior adviser says.

Vance won the Ohio Republican Senate primary race with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement and now faces Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan in the November general election.

In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Saturday, Vance’s senior adviser Andrew Surabian noted that the best-selling author took a strong stance against U.S. involvement in foreign wars as all other major Republican candidates in the race, and those elected in Washington, DC, were backing billions in American taxpayer funding for Ukraine in its war with Russia.


“The proudest moment I personally had throughout this primary was watching J.D. stand firm on principle when the entire world was telling him, pressuring him that he needed to take a more hawkish view regarding American involvement in what was happening regarding Ukraine and Russia’s invasion,” Surabian said. “And he just absolutely refused to budge.”

“We were told we were dead because of it … they were saying we were ‘dead on arrival because the party is shifting back to a more hawkish neoconservative foreign policy, and J.D. Vance obviously doesn’t get it,'” Surabian continued, describing the political establishment’s reaction to Vance’s position against U.S. involvement in Ukraine.

“We were losing donors left and right over it, and J.D. said, ‘You know what, I don’t care. This is what I believe and if it hurts me politically, it hurts me politically, but it’s the right thing to do to say that we do not need to send American boys and girls over to Europe to defend a country, despite how horrible the invasion is, that doesn’t affect our national interests, that doesn’t affect our national security,'” Surabian said.

Surabian said Vance was not only attacked by Ryan and Democrats but also by his fellow Republicans who advocated for Biden’s plan in sending billions in taxpayer funding to Ukraine.

“I think that was a pivotal moment throughout this campaign,” Surabian said.

“J.D. Vance may have been the only major Senate candidate running for Senate this cycle to actually having taken that stand so strongly against American intervention in Ukraine … I think that was a turning point in this race,” he continued.

Despite attacks from his opponents alleging that he took an extreme position on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the overwhelming majority of Americans agree with Vance on the issue.

In late January, a Trafalgar poll found that the vast majority of Americans did not support military intervention in Ukraine. In February, an Associated Press poll showed that 52 percent of Americans said the U.S. should play a “minor role” in the conflict, while 20 percent said the U.S. should not play a role at all.

Former President Donald Trump listens as J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, speaks during a rally hosted by the former president at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Likewise, in late March, another Trafalgar poll found that more than 66 percent of Americans said they were not willing to risk a single American life in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Surabian said Vance also stood out among his Republican opponents by going full-throttle on the campaign trail with an immigration agenda to stop illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration levels.

“He ran on declaring the drug cartels a terrorist organization. He ran on finishing Trump’s wall. He ran on citizen requirements for anyone applying for welfare because illegal immigrants should not be allowed to get welfare,” Surabian said. “That’s pretty common sense, no one else was talking about it.”

“He ran on blocking funding for sanctuary cities or cities like New York that allows illegal immigrants to vote,” he continued. “These are the stands that our voters want to be seen taking to defend their economic interests … it’s not just about safety and security … there’s also an economic component.”

Surabian said Vance is looking to bring that same fight to Ryan, whom he calls a “fraud.” In particular, Surabian suggested that Vance will go after Ryan’s record of standing by as his district of Youngstown, Ohio, has been de-industrialized over the last few decades as a result of globalization.

“The working class has gotten crushed while [Tim Ryan’s] been in office and so he thinks he should get a promotion?” Surabian asked. “This guy is a total fraud.”

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.