Five years ago, J.D. Vance called Donald Trump “reprehensible,” said other Republicans who gave him cover were “shameful,” and even floated on National Public Radio that he may vote for Hillary Clinton. This week, Vance said he regrets what he said, and is hoping Trump will endorse him in next May’s Republican U.S. Senate primary in Ohio.
In 2016, Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno called Trump a “lunatic,” and interrupted a 2019 TV interviewer to emphasize he wasn’t a Trump supporter. Now, his U.S. Senate campaign website declares Trump to have had “the most positive impact of any president since Ronald Reagan,” and touts the former president’s clashes with Big Tech and China.
The dynamic in the early days of the GOP Senate race has been well-documented – the candidates are angling for Trump’s support, as well as the support of Trump’s voters as they try to claim the nomination to succeed outgoing Republican Sen. Rob Portman. But the flip side of that purity test is that candidates are as quick to point fingers at each other as they are to emphasize their own Trump bona fides. And the candidates themselves have provided each other with plenty of material, which is true of no one more than Vance.