The two frontrunners in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Ohio got into a heated exchange with one another at a debate Friday evening, eventually having to be separated from one another, in a moment that quickly went viral.
The exchange, between former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel and businessman Mike Gibbons, happened at a primary debate sponsored by conservative nonprofit FreedomWorks. Politico reporter Natalie Allison posted a video of the exchange to Twitter. As of the publishing of this piece, the video has amassed 1.8 million views in less than 24 hours.
The row between the two candidates arose over an argument about Gibbons’ alleged business dealings in China. About half an hour into the debate, Mandel called out Gibbons for his alleged role in offshoring Ohio jobs to China. Mandel claimed that Gibbons sold a company called “Perfect Fit” to a Chinese company called Shanghai Shenda. He also claimed that Gibbons owned stock in “Chinese Petro.”