VIDEO: Ohio GOP Senate Hopeful Josh Mandel Fakes a Southern Accent

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

On Wednesday, Republican Josh Mandel, who’s hoping to defeat Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) this November, took the stage alongside Mitt Romney in the tiny village of Beallsville in the eastern Ohio coal belt. In a brief speech, Mandel blasted President Obama for having “waged war on coal” and for buddying up with “people in California and New York City who think coal is a four-letter word, who never stepped foot in Appalachia Ohio and don’t understand coal.”

Mandel’s talking points weren’t new. His delivery, however, certainly was. Backed by a phalanx of coal miners, Mandel soaked his speech with a distinct southern accent, a drawl never before heard from the candidate. Mandel, a former US Marine and now Ohio’s state treasurer, is no southerner. He hails from the Cleveland area, in northern Ohio, where he still lives with his wife. He attended college at Ohio State University in Columbus and law school at Case Western in Cleveland. Neither qualify as southern cities—not even close.

As this video from the Ohio Democratic Party shows, Mandel has delivered almost identical remarks elsewhere on the campaign trail—with no trace of a southern accent:

Strange, right? Just to be sure, we dug up three more interviews with Mandel. Spoiler alert: No drawl.

June 2012 Interview with OhioCapitalBlog

March 2012 Interview with Toledo’s WTVG

January 2012 Interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends”

As PolitiFact Ohio’s reigning “Pants on Fire” champion, having spouted more false statements than any other major Ohio pol, Mandel’s campaign has faced plenty of criticism about running fast and loose with the facts. His newfound southern accent could be another headache for Mandel.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate