While nominating Jordan for the job, Stefanik claimed that he “is the voice of the American people who have felt voiceless for far too long. Whether as judiciary chair, conservative leader, or representative for his constituents in West Central Ohio, whether on the wrestling mat or in the committee room, Jim Jordan is strategic, scrappy, tough and principled.”
The “wrestling mat” comment may not have left the impression Stefanik intended.
When Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University between 1986 and 1994, he reportedly ignored molestation allegations against the team’s doctor, Richard Strauss.
Although Jordan has denied that he knew anything about the allegations, Mike DiSabato, a former wrestler and friend of Jordan’s, said in 2018 that the lawmaker “is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
Another former OSU wrestler, Dunyasha Yetts, told NBC News earlier this month that the congressman’s “hypocrisy is unbelievable.”
“He doesn’t deserve to be House speaker,” Yetts said. “He still has to answer for what happened to us.”
A 2019 report from the university found that Strauss, who died in 2005, committed nearly 1,500 sexual assaults on student-patients while he worked there.
You can see Stefanik’s reference to Jordan’s wrestling past in the video below.
Stefanik: Jim is the voice of the American people who have felt voiceless for far too long. Whether as judiciary chair, conservative leader or representative for his constituents in west-central Ohio, whether on the wrestling mat… pic.twitter.com/P1MJZzyfFn
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 17, 2023
Many people on X, formerly known as Twitter, had strong thoughts about the mention and whether Stefanik realized that Jordan’s wrestling history is not a selling point for many people.
Jim understands Americans who long for fascism, who yearn to look away as their kids are sexually abused, who are too lazy to do any actual work if it’s not half assed showboating. Real salt of the earth. https://t.co/GDNwSvQKa5
— Noah Mallin (@NoahMallin) October 17, 2023
These people must be getting dubbed then on conservative “news” and talk radio because they don’t seem voiceless lol https://t.co/VS16GEH9au
— Kev 0’Content Jr. (@KevOContent) October 17, 2023
@RepStefanik Jim Jordan hasn’t done shit for his constituents or the American people in his 16 years in congress, he has never written or passed a single piece of legislation in his 16 years in congress. Shut the hell the fake bullshit praise woman https://t.co/BTVLOoMjBG
— Ivan Perez (@S1lentonexx88) October 17, 2023
Considering most crisis consultants, PR pros or spin doctors would probably not have recommended Stefanik reference Jordan’s wrestling past, one person wondered if it was actually intentional ― especially since he lost the first vote for the gavel.
Evan Massoud is a political analyst with a knack for dissecting policy and governance. He provides readers with informed perspectives on political developments at home and abroad. Evan’s dedication to civic engagement extends to volunteering in local politics.