#OHGOPSenateDebate: What They Are Saying…

“Dolan Got Under Moreno’s Skin…”

 “Dolan Definitely Was the Aggressor and Managed to Get A Lot of Attention to His Positions.”

 “Dolan’s Strategy Was Clear: Repeatedly Attack Moreno & LaRose for Hypocrisy”

Cleveland, OH – On Monday night, Nexstar stations across Ohio hosted the first Ohio U.S. Senate Republican Primary Debate. Dolan earned broad praise for his appearance, establishing himself from the start as the consistent conservative in the contest that Ohio Republicans can trust to defeat Sherrod Brown, fight for Ohio and get America back on the right track.

Matt Dolan, Ohio GOP Sen. Debate, Jan 22, 2024

“Public service jobs are about trust. Making sure that you’re going to follow through on what you do … This is about trust. Bernie, we learned this week that we don’t know if we can trust you. Your employees trusted you to follow a court order and do not destroy documents that helped their case against you. What did you do? You shredded those documents because it helped Bernie Moreno, not the employees. This is a matter of trust. What do we believe in, what are we going to get done and consistency. And I have been a conservative who has been consistent and I’ve gotten things done,” Matt Dolan said.

Henry Gomez, NBC News: “Dolan, who was the night’s chief aggressor on stage, also asserted that, given his recent legislative experience, he is the most in sync with Trump while accusing his rivals of ‘phony’ reverence. ‘The reality is I’m the only one in this stage who has enacted Trump policies,’ Dolan said. ‘These two have spent a great deal of time deleting all their past comments, hateful comments on Trump. And now, because it’s in their political best interests, they’re saying something completely different.’

  • Report: “Later in the debate, moderators pressed LaRose and Moreno about their shifts in rhetoric since the riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. At the time, LaRose and Moreno condemned the violence and destruction. Both have since described some of those who have been charged as political ‘prisoners’ — language that echoes Trump’s. Dolan slammed Moreno for a response that was sympathetic to alleged rioters. ‘We just heard an absolute political phony answer,’ Dolan said. ‘He’s trying to reinvent himself. Jan. 6 was a bad day, and I said it then. Jan. 6, was … a bad day, and I’m saying it now.’ That comment and others rankled Moreno.

Andrew Tobias, Cleveland Plain Dealer: “[Dolan’s] strategy for tonight clearly is to repeatedly attack Moreno and LaRose for hypocrisy. ‘The only thing you can trust about my opponents is when the political winds change, they will change with it. I will not.’”

  • “Dolan definitely was the aggressor and managed to get a lot of attention to his positions. He eventually got under Moreno’s skin…”

Haley BeMiller, Columbus Dispatch:Dolan went after Moreno for destroying documents in the middle of the lawsuit.”

  • Report: “Near the end of the debate, Dolan attacked his opponents’ credibility and accused them of waffling on past positions. He specifically took aim at lawsuits Moreno faced as the owner of a Massachusetts car dealership, which accused Moreno of failing to properly pay sales employees overtime. In one case, a judge sanctioned Moreno for destroying records that flagged who worked overtime at the dealership. Moreno said the data were preserved and the reports weren’t necessary, but Dolan seized on his opponent’s court troubles. ‘I don’t know if we can trust you,’ Dolan said. ‘Your employees trusted you to follow a court order and to not destroy documents that helped their case against you.’”

David Skolnick, Youngstown Vindicator: “State Sen. Matt Dolan and Secretary of State Frank LaRose took shots Monday at Moreno … accusing him of changing his positions on immigration, support of Israel, and the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol. They also went after Moreno on recent revelations that he settled more than a dozen wage theft lawsuits right before he launched his Senate campaign and admitted to shredding documents containing information that was possibly relevant to cases.”

Fox8 Cleveland – “A Key Moment”: “Dolan said he has been consistent in his stance that the border should be secured. He said Moreno has been inconsistent on border security, claiming that his opponent worked with former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg to ask former President Barack Obama for a path to citizenship and that Moreno wanted a ‘path to residency,’ going so far as to claim that Moreno received awards in Cleveland for his positions on immigration. He said that Moreno now wants to deport children.”

  • CAMPAIGN FACT: Bernie Moreno calls for mass deportations today, but during the Obama Administration, Bernie Moreno joined with an organization founded by Michael Bloomberg to lobby Congress on a pathway to legal residency for 11 million illegal aliens.
  • “Moreno also believes that there should be a pathway to residency for the11 million authorized immigrants already living in the United States, particularly those brought to the country as children. ‘We can’t throw out the people who came here as children. They don’t know anyone from their home countries,’ says Moreno, who’s the chairman of the board of Cleveland State University. ‘We need to help them come out of the shadows.’” (New American Economy, 08/10/16)
  • “Immigration laws should protect immigrants’ interests to help them succeed. ‘The goal is to help them become Americans,’ Moreno says.” (New American Economy, 08/10/16)

Fox8 Cleveland Must-See Moment: “Moreno has said Israel doesn’t need the U.S.’ help or funding — a view Matt Dolan has called ‘isolationist.’”

Mehek Cooke, Political Analyst, NBC4i Columbus: “Matt Dolan, who has been very successful in balancing budgets in the Senate.”

Dan Sewell, Columnist, Cincinnati Enquirer: “Moreno is the Trump backed candidate in #OHSEN Bonus: Moreno has suggested ‘white reparations’ for the Civil War”

Doug Moormann, Mayor of Madeira: “Trust, Principles, Consistent Conservative. I like what I hear from @dolan for Ohio”


Bernie Moreno has come under fire in recent days for refusing to disclose lawsuit settlement details and ignoring directives from a Massachusetts court to preserve legal documents. In a deposition, Moreno admitted to shredding the documents. It was branded by pundits as “news of the night…” More information:

WKYC TV Cleveland, Jan 18, 2024

“Former car dealership owner turned GOP candidate Bernie Moreno, whose Ohio Senate race could determine whether Republicans regain control of the chamber, settled over a dozen wage theft lawsuits in the months before launching his campaign last year, according to court documents reviewed by Business Insider. Those settlements came after a jury ordered Moreno to pay over $400,000 to two former employees at his Massachusetts dealership for failing to pay overtime in accordance with state labor laws. As he faced those lawsuits, Moreno admitted in a deposition to shredding documents containing information that was potentially relevant to the case, despite being instructed to preserve records — drawing a rebuke from a state judge.” (Metzger, Brian. “Trump-backed Ohio Senate candidate shredded documents as he faced a lawsuit accusing him of wage theft” Business Insider, Jan 19, 2024)

“In January 2023, Moreno settled 14 of the 16 related lawsuits, court records show. Just 3 months later in April 2023, Moreno launched his comeback bid for US Senate … Moreno’s campaign did not disclose those settlement amounts to Business Insider, and lawyers for Adem and the other former employees declined to comment for this story.” (Metzger, Brian. “Trump-backed Ohio Senate candidate shredded documents as he faced a lawsuit accusing him of wage theft” Business Insider, Jan 19, 2024)

“Bernie Moreno, a Trump-backed candidate for Ohio’s crucial U.S. Senate seat who touts his success in business, faced multiple lawsuits alleging discrimination against employees in the run-up to the sale of his high-end Cleveland car dealership, an Associated Press review has found. Three discrimination suits were filed in Cuyahoga County between 2015 and 2017. Two accused Moreno and Bernie Moreno Cos. of gender and age discrimination, respectively. The third, in which Moreno was not named, alleged race discrimination against a dealership run by a BMC subsidiary.” (Carr Smyth, Julie. “Businessman Bernie Moreno, Trump’s Senate pick in Ohio, faced discrimination lawsuits, the AP finds” Associated Press, Jan. 17, 2024)