2022 Election

Trump’s J.D. Vance endorsement causes more chaos in GOP Senate primaries in Ohio

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – JD Vance was enjoying a milkshake with cookies and ice cream with his eldest son last week when he received an unfinished call Ohio scuffles in Republican Senate race.

After one year Face to face reality TV and other tireless efforts to gain his endorsement, former President Donald Trump was on the other end of the line to anoint Vance, used to be a fierce critic.

“I was a bit caught off guard by it,” Vance recalled here a few days later to reporters after an event with Donald Trump Jr., whose favourite to the “Hillbilly Elegy” author who helped get his father on board.

Trump’s endorsement in close watch Beginner May 3 worked for many days, as previously reported by NBC News. But more than a week later, with Trump scheduled to appear at a rally with Vance in the state on Saturday, it’s clear he has shaken up what was already a tumultuous Senate race and the nation’s most costly in ways that no one – not Vance, not his. his supporters or opponents – to be expected.

Instead of clearing the field or creating a united front of the GOP in favor of Vance, Trump’s endorsement has escalated tensions and worsened what was initially seen as a sign of the race.

In a letter to the former president this week, several pro-Trump activists in Ohio, including one of his 2016 state directors, called the endorsement a “betrayal.” , citing Vance’s past attacks on Trump and his lack of ties to the party’s grassroots leaders. . Up until running for the Senate, Vance was primarily known for “Hillbilly Elegy,” the Netflix adaptation of his memoir, and for his ties to major Republican donor and chief executive officer. technology executive Peter Thiel.

Ralph King, a 2016 Trump delegate who helped organize the letter, said: “I don’t like it. “This endorsement fills the swamp. Donald Trump is selling us out.”

Meanwhile, Trump and his eldest son now tangled with other candidates and their allies.

Club for Development, a conservative group that favors frontrunner Josh Mandel but is friendly to Trump, has announced it will continue broadcasting. television advisement that underscores Vance’s past criticisms. Trump Jr. Retaliation on Twitter by naming Mandel “founding,” in part because he endorsed 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whom Trump also endorsed that year. Race participants are bracing for stronger attacks on Mandel from Trump at Saturday’s rally, or from Trump Jr., who is scheduled to run for re-election with Vance next week. .

A source close to Trump Jr, who requested anonymity to discuss the strategy, said that Dave McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, “does not endorse Josh Mandel in any way” with endorsements. its real.

“Instead of just trying to push JD across the finish line, Don will do everything in his power to chop Mandel to pieces.”

Trump seniors also threatened legal action this week against Action for Winning Women, a PAC that supports Jane Timken and has highlighted her close relationship with the former president. One recent advertisement from PAC features Trump and Timken embracing, with the narrator how Trump “turned to Jane Timken” when he needed a “conservative fighter” – a reference to his successful 2017 campaign. her for the GOP Ohio chair. In a cease and desist letter, Trump’s team asserted that the ad “implied” an endorsement of the Senate race.

In a response obtained by NBC News, a PAC attorney wrote that the ad, which will remain on the air, “very clearly refers to the well-documented and well-founded past advocacy of President Trump” for Timken and acknowledged that Trump did not endorse Timken for the Senate race.

“Instead, he inexplicably endorsed J.D. Vance,” attorney Michael Bayes wrote before re-emphasizing a 2016 interview in which Vance accepts “Never Trump” label.

Vance has since said that Trump has proven him wrong and has apologized for past criticism, something Trump mentioned in his endorsement announcement. People close to Trump have described that the former president was attracted to the idea of ​​raising his voice to convert to Trumpism.

“I almost respect someone who has actually been criticized and really changed their mind when they see the policy being enacted and you can become a believer that way,” Trump Jr., replied. question about the new “bad blood” in the preliminary round, told reporters after the event with Vance.

Image: JD Vance
J.D. Vance, at a rally, in Middletown, Ohio, on July 1, 2021, at which he announced his bid for an open Senate seat.Jeffrey Dean / AP file

How much and how quickly all of this will help Vance is still difficult to quantify. Vance and his allies were quick to capitalize on the endorsement, which included a new TV commercial, a visit by Trump Jr. and another cash from Thielwho pumped $13.5 million into a Vance-fit super PAC. Polls conducted prior to Trump’s endorsement, including one commissioned by the super PAC, have shown Vance on the rise, but by no means a decisive lead. A new poll this week from super PACs, greeted skeptically by rival campaigns, proposes Vance took the lead. Public polling about the race has become scarce.

None of the other three GOP hopefuls who have ever presented themselves as Trump loyalists have given up, nor has Senator Matt Dolan of state, who in an interview Tuesday suggested the endorsement. reinforced his strategy Ignore the Trump buzz and focus on local issues.

“I ran for Ohio, and everything they did” Dolan, who is not actively seeking Trump’s support, said. “So with two weeks left, what are they supposed to do?”

Others in the race are grappling with what losing Trump’s endorsement means for their candidates.

Business man Mike Gibbonswhose self-funded television commercials helped him catch up with Mandel in the previous polls a few trembling debate performancesay in one Thursday interview that the endorsement “changes the mix.” But he also said he believes Trump has made a mistake.

Mandel, a former state treasurer with a rise in Ohio forewarned Trump in national politics, campaigned on Thursday with Michael Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general who briefly served as Trump’s first national security adviser. At a Cortland diner, as Mandel worked through a bit of standardization in which he listed the names of people he considered RINOs — or Republicans Just Names — several people in the crowd gathered. to suggest one more sentence: “And Vance.”

“And Vance,” Mandel agreed.

But Mandel responds more carefully whenever reporters ask if the endorsement has let him down.

“I’m confident we’ll win this primary on May 3, and I look forward to working with President Trump to defeat Tim Ryan in November,” he said each time referring to The likely candidate is a Democrat.

Timken, who is closer to Trump than any other candidate and nearly scored his endorsement last year before advisers urged him to wait and see how the field develops. – continues to emphasize her past work as state party chairperson. She also highlighted her endorsement from Senator Rob Portman, whose decision not to run for re-election this year paved the way for the hotly contested primaries.

“None of that changes Donald Trump’s endorsement of me being the Republican chairman or my handing over of Ohio to President Trump,” said Timken, in response to a question about Vance’s endorsement. on Thursday night after campaigning with Portman near Youngstown. “Look, J.D. Vance … is a man who was never wanted. If he did it his way, Hillary Clinton would be president. But Ohio voters are smart and they’ll see. it’s correct.”

You are reading the article Trump’s J.D. Vance endorsement causes more chaos in GOP Senate primaries in Ohio

at Blogtuan.info – Source: nbcnews.com – Read the original article here

Back to top button