2022 midterms

Trump Turns Up the Rancor in the Ohio GOP Senate Primary

Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Without any outside intervention, the candidates in Ohio’s Republican Senate primary have been getting testy — as evidenced in a debate last month in which former Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel got in the face of banker Mike Gibbons and called him a “pussy.” But if there was any chance that Donald Trump’s endorsement last week of the Peter Thiel–funded homunculus J.D. Vance would cool the intraparty conflict, Trump himself is now dispelling that prospect.

The New York Times reports that Trump had expected that his endorsement would cause the other candidates and their PAC backers to fall in line. But the billionaire-funded Club for Growth, which supports Mandel, defied the party leader: This week, the group, funded in part by the heir to the Schlitz beer fortune, ran new ads featuring a grab bag of quotes by Vance condemning Trump in the past, including a 2016 comment in which Vance said he “never liked him.”

After the spots aired, the frustrated former president reportedly told an aide to send a message to Club for Growth president David McIntosh: “Go fuck yourself.” At least his tone was consistent with the spite on the ground among Republicans in the Buckeye State.

Trump Turns Up the Rancor in the Ohio GOP Senate Primary