Exclusive — Watch: Possible Trump VP Pick Sen. J.D. Vance Reveals Strategy to Win Election with Working Class Rust Belt Voters

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

DETROIT, Michigan — Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), a possible vice presidential pick for former President Donald Trump, told Breitbart News exclusively here at the Turning Point Action People’s Convention this weekend that he would gladly accept the nod from Trump if the former president asks him to be his running mate. Either way, though, Vance made clear that no matter what his role is in the future he intends to be “part of that vanguard” defending Trump’s America First populist policies from Democrats and old guard establishment Republicans alike.

“I won’t pretend to give advice. It’s his decision and I’m glad it’s his decision because there’s a lot of talented people he can pick from,” Vance said in a video interview on media row at the convention right before his speech on Sunday. “I mean look, if he asks me, of course I’d be interested in the job. He’s the president we need at this moment in time and I want to help him however I can. The only thing I’d say is whether it’s in the Senate, the House, or the Vice Presidency, you have to remember on the three big issues Trump ran on—the three big issues I think Trump won on—which is trade, immigration, and military adventures overseas, the establishment GOP was stabbing him in the back, stabbing him in the back constantly. They did not like the issues that Trump ran on. Just like you talk about with that debate with Jeb Bush, they didn’t like that Trump had tapped into something that people didn’t like about the old guard of the Republican Party. Donald Trump has got to have people at all levels of government who are going to support the agenda that works for people and not try to stab him in the back. Whether I’m in the Senate or some other role, I’m certainly going to be part of that vanguard.”

After Vance’s address to the crowd here, he went on to easily win the straw poll of Turning Point attendees who were asked who they think should be Trump’s running mate. Vance, the only candidate to win double digit support, finished the straw poll with well more than 40 percent support, towering above other possible picks. What’s more, this weekend the former communications director to Vice President Kamala Harris warned in a television interview that Vance would be the most formidable threat as a vice presidential pick.

Vance also in his interview with Breitbart News laid out a vision for a pathway to victory for Republicans in November. Asked how the Trump ticket gets to 270 electoral voters or more, the Senate Republicans get to 51 seats or more, and the House Republicans hold at least 218 seats to maintain their majority, Vance said that the right is currently “in a good spot.”

“But especially on the Senate side and the presidency, we really have to win a few critical states,” he continued. “I think at the top of the list are Michigan and Pennsylvania. Both Senate races—really winnable Senate races in both states—but obviously those are two path to the presidency states for Donald Trump. I think we do really well in Pennsylvania and really well in Michigan with regard to the Senate and the presidency. The House is a different beast, right? I mean, typically House voters will vote for Congress whoever they vote for president so I think this is the thing where we really have to count on Donald Trump’s coattails on the one hand and on the other hand try to make those coattails as long and as powerful as possible. Look, sitting here right now, this is mid-June of 2024, I’d much rather be us than them. But I do worry a little bit about complacency. People are feeling like we’re ahead. The way to actually finish this thing is to run through the tape and chase as many ballots, harvest as many ballots legally of course, as we can. But look man, we’re in a really good spot. People are pissed off. People don’t like Joe Biden. They like Donald Trump. That’s where you want to be.”

Vance, who comes from that same working class whose voters put Trump in the White House the first time in 2016, laid out his views on a strategy for making sure that Trump wins them again in 2024. A big focus of a successful effort, Vance argued, will be on the core populist issues like trade and war.

“There’s a couple of things going on here. First of all, you have to remember these are very, very patriotic Americans. They want to make things in their own country, in their own communities, with their own—with American workers,” Vance said when asked how Trump wins these voters again. “One of the big mistakes we’ve made as a country—bipartisan—is we let China make way too much of our stuff. We let Mexico make way too much of our stuff. If you look in a lot of ways at what Biden has done on the green energy stuff, they’ve been doubling down on a lot of very stupid policies because where are all the minerals mined for the green energy economy? They’re mined in China. Where are a lot of the components made? In China. So Biden has really given us an opportunity here where he’s really invested in a globalist economy in the name of green energy. Set aside for a second the fact that China is the dirtiest economy in the world—nobody wants to talk about that—but it’s been really bad for manufacturing workers in Michigan, in Pennsylvania, and in Wisconsin. So, we have to hammer as much as possible, we’ve got to make our own stuff and we’ve got to do it with American workers, with American hands. I think the second thing we have to hit really hard is if you look at who serves and fights and dies in American wars, it is disproportionately middle class people from the industrial Midwest. You go to a Marine Corps base when I served, and you will see a ton of Texas and a ton of Ohio license plates right? It became like a joke—everybody in the Marine Corps is either from Texas or from Ohio. That means those people, those sort of patriotic Americans, they’re sending their kids to the United States Marine Corps, to the United States Army, They don’t want to send those kids to fight for Volodymyr Zelensky. They want if we send American boys and girls to war, they want it to be for America’s interests. I think that Trump better than anybody in American politics today can go and make the argument that we are for peace when we need to and we’re only going to fight a war when we have to. But when we do, we’re going to punch hard and we’re going to win. We’re not doing these sort of global wars of democracy which again is something the Biden administration has really doubled down on. I think Trump would take us in a different direction, but we’ve got to make that pitch to people. If you want your kid to go and fight in some stupid globalist war, vote for Joe Biden. If you want to send American Marines and soldiers to fight only when we have to, vote for Donald Trump.”

Trump, in his own address to the Turning Point crowd in Detroit on Saturday evening, argued that Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky is one of the greatest “salesmen” in the history of the planet given that he keeps convincing globalist leaders in the United States to send billions and billions of American tax dollars to his country. But, Trump argued, if elected he would end the war before he even takes office by negotiating peace. Asked about this moment in Trump’s speech, Vance told Breitbart News that Trump is “exactly right.”

“You have a lot of really crazy European leaders, some of whom just got punished in these recent elections,” Vance said. “They’re saying we need to send NATO ground troops into Ukraine. That is insane. There is no compelling American interest that would justify NATO getting directly involved with this conflict and you need somebody to say ‘enough with the craziness, enough with the bullshit, we’re not sending NATO troops unless there’s a direct threat to NATO which look this war is not a good thing but it is not a direct threat to NATO.’ We need a statesman. The crazy thing about Trump and the reaction to him is there’s this idea that statesmanship is sounding like a total robot and never saying anything controversial but in your actual conduct doing everything you can to start a stupid war. I actually think Trump is a much better model of statesman which is he’s tough, he’s funny, he sometimes says things unfiltered but when it comes to actual decision-making, he’s much more careful and cautious than any person currently representing the country.”

In addition to the issues of trade and war, immigration is another key part of the winning message Vance argues will help Trump and the new populist America First Republicans defeat Democrats in November.

“This is a huge thing, and it’s a huge thing in multiple different dimensions,” Vance said. “We know about the fentanyl problem and we basically turned the Mexican drug cartels into the world’s biggest terrorist and criminal organizations and what are they doing? They’re profiting off the deaths of people in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. That’s a big, big problem. The second problem is we know that with low-wage immigration, they compete with the jobs of American workers who are typically those in the sort of the middle. They’re not competing with rich people for their jobs. They’re competing with middle class people and working class people for their jobs. So you import 20 million people into this country, it actually harms the wages of the people they’re competing against. So you’re already struggling in Biden’s economy. You’re already making less because of inflation. Now we’re going to bring in 20 million people to compete with your job for you? That’s totally ridiculous and oh, by the way, while we’re competing for your job we’re going to help kill your kid with the fentanyl we’re bringing in and helping the cartels traffic into your community? It’s a total joke and it has to stop.”

Vance argued that Democrats’ strategy of attacking Americans concerned about out-of-control migration and the effects it has on them from a public safety and economic perspective also turns these working class voters back to Trump and Republicans.

“The thing that the Democrats have really doubled down on is this idea that if you want a border and if you don’t think you should have 20 million illegal aliens in this country then you’re a racist,” Vance said. “People just don’t buy it. They’re sick of being called dirty names because they just want to live in a safe and stable community.”

Vance, too, argued there are some other angles of the immigration issue that people under-appreciate, particularly the effects wide-scale migration has on the health care system, the school system, and on housing prices.

“Also on the immigration issue, there are some sleeper elements to this that people don’t appreciate,” Vance said. “I think Trump sort of gets it in an instinctual way but most political consultants don’t. Hospital wait times have gone through the roof. Why have they gone through the roof? Because illegal immigrants primarily use emergency rooms in hospitals to get access to hospital services. Okay, that’s not okay. Schools, right? I talk to people in rural school districts all the time where they’re dealing with kids who are struggling in various ways, their parents lost a job, you’ve got the drug epidemic, and then all of a sudden eight illegal immigrants show up in their community. Nobody speaks Spanish in their school, and these illegal immigrants don’t speak English, and now they have to figure out how to give those kids a good education at the same time while they’re servicing a lot of kids who are already struggling who have the legal right to be here. So this is just crazy. There are all of these ways in which the immigration problem is putting stresses on, and the final thing I’d say here is if you can’t afford a home because home prices are through the roof you can thank the fact that Biden has let in 20 million people who are competing with you for residences and houses. That puts upward pressure on all the stuff middle class people need and houses are at the very top.”


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