INDIANAPOLIS – As the 2022 Winter Olympics begin in Beijing, Capitol Hill is still grappling with the standoff in Eastern Europe, as well as a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Indiana Senator Todd Young recently sat down with IN Focus to talk about it all, plus the upcoming midterm elections.

Speaking on the 2022 Winter Olympics, Sen. Young did not mince words on China’s influence and intentions with holding the worldwide event. Citing human rights abuses, Sen. Young says the Games will be used to push forward President Xi Jinping’s agenda.

“These Olympic Games will be a weeks-long infomercial for [China’s] slaveholder state,” Sen. Young said. “I intend to highlight some of their bad behavior.”

Sen. Young touted his efforts to call out abuses by China’s government, especially with the #BeijingBehavingBadly campaign on Twitter. Sen. Young says although it’s important to cheer on Team USA, he wants the world to know Beijing’s actions, from forced labor to internet censorship.

“I think it’s really important that we cheer on our athletes, but at the same time, we have to provide context to these Games,” Sen. Young said.

As tensions rise on the border between Russia and Ukraine, Sen. Young says the U.S. needs to “continue to show strength” towards Russian aggression. Criticizing the Biden administration for not acting fast enough to send aid to Ukraine, Sen. Young believes any invasion must be met with a swift response.

“I think we could have moved more quickly to providing lethal arms. “I wish we had more success with bringing together some of our allies. We need to have a clear plan, but we also just need to portray strength.”

Turning to the Supreme Court, Sen. Young said he’s open to approve a candidate that applies “the Constitution as written.” He emphasized that he’ll remain critical of the nominee, encouraging fellow Republicans to appropriately “advise and consent” as laid out in the Constitution. Some in his party have criticized President Biden’s process, pledging to nominate the nation’s first black woman to the Supreme Court.

“There is certainly skepticism that that is going to be the president’s approach,” Sen. Young said. “I will enter this with an open mind, but I will be scrutinizing whomever the president nominates.”

Looking ahead to his re-election effort, Sen. Young said his campaign will focus on the issues that Hoosiers are talking about on a regular basis, from inflation to foreign policy.

“I hope it’s a campaign about ideas,” Sen. Young said. “About our ideas on where this country should be headed. Should we continue to allow millions of people streaming across our southern border? I have strong convictions about that.”

This week IN Focus is also speaking with Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott, who recently filed enough signatures to run against Sen. Young.

After passing the deadline to file campaign paperwork, both Mayor McDermott and Senator Young will likely run unopposed in their primaries, setting up a showdown in November.

Mayor McDermott said he’s ready to show off what he called his ‘authentic’ style of politics.

“Part of the problem when people run for higher office is they change the person and they become fake,” Mayor McDermott said. “I’m determined to be 100% authentically Tom McDermott. Just because I’m a Democrat, and just because some people may call themselves Republican, it doesn’t mean that we’re not on the same team when it comes to the issues confronting our country.”

Watch more from our interviews with Senator Todd Young and Mayor Tom McDermott in the videos above.