Ohio Republican Senate candidate Bernie Moreno suggested this week that white Americans should receive reparations if they are descendants of northern Civil War soldiers who died during the four-year conflict.
Moreno, a far-right Republican who has aligned himself with former President Donald Trump, made the comments during a Tuesday campaign rally in which he announced his candidacy to unseat Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Moreno reminisced on moments in U.S. history such as the Revolutionary and Civil wars, praising the work of historical “giants” such as John Adams and James Madison.
"That this group of people took on the largest empire in history. They said no, we will not stand for this. And won,” Moreno said. “That same group of people later, white people, died to free black people. It’s never happened in human history before, but it happened here in America.”
Moreno pointed to the Civil War as evidence the United States is not inherently racist, challenging critics to name another “country that did that: that freed slaves.”
“You know, they talk about reparations,” Moreno said. “Where are the reparations for the people in the North who died to save the lives of black people?”
Moreno is the second Republican to enter the fray to challenge Brown, who is considered to be one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the 2024 cycle. The businessman previously sought to run for the Senate in Ohio last year, but later withdrew his nomination to support Trump-backed J.D. Vance.
Trump applauded Moreno’s candidacy earlier this morning before his official announcement, calling him a "highly respected businessman from the GREAT STATE of OHIO" who "would not be easy to beat."
There are a total of 34 Senate seats up for grabs in the 2024 election cycle. Of those, Democrats must defend 23, compared to just 11 for Republicans. The circumstances put Republicans in a strong position to flip some crucial Senate seats that could easily shift the current balance of power in the upper chamber.
Just three of those states are rated as toss-ups, including Ohio, Arizona, and West Virginia. That could give Republicans a chance to flip the competitive seat as they attempt to flip control of the Senate in 2024.