He’s Just Not That Into Them
June 28, 2021
Columbus, OH — Over the weekend, failed Florida blogger Donald Trump held a rally in Wellington that Ohio GOP Senate candidates pulled out all the stops for, trying to secure the support of the only voter they seem to care about. From renting out airplanes to hosting all-day cookouts, the Republican candidates were stepping all over themselves to prove that they were the ones worthy of his affections. But unfortunately for all of these GOP candidates, he’s just not that into them.
Trump barely made mention of the candidates during his hour-and-a-half-long speech, and when he did, the crowd reacted with disdain. Trump even took a poll of the crowd, listing off some of the candidates who heard their names booed before Trump quickly changed the subject. It’s a sign that Trump isn’t the only one indifferent to the GOP field, Ohio voters are just as tired of these candidates as the rest of us.
“The more that each of these GOP candidates makes their entire campaign about Trump, the more they show Ohioans that they’re not interested in serving Ohio. Ohioans are already sick of the attacks and infighting and see these candidates for who they really are: opportunistic politicians who will say or do anything to advance their own personal ambitions,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Read more coverage below:
Seth Richardson, 6/27/2021
- The Republicans running for U.S. Senate in Ohio have been falling over themselves to cozy up to former President Donald Trump for months. On Saturday, they finally got their wish to do so in public, though without the payoff they likely dreamed of.
- All four of the Republicans currently vying for retiring Sen. Rob Portman’s seat were out in full force. Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons hosted a tailgate. Former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken’s campaign flew a banner overhead directing people to her website.
- Yet, in the end, Gibbons, Timken, former Treasurer Josh Mandel and Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno barely got a passing mention near the end of Trump’s speech. Cincinnati venture capitalist J.D. Vance – a former critic of Trump’s who has since shifted his views and is expected to announce his entry into the race this week – didn’t get a mention.
- Instead of a speech aimed at building support for 2022 candidates, thousands of the president’s fans at the jam-packed event heard a nearly 90-minute speech illustrative of the kind of “help” Trump likely plans to give during the 2022 election cycle: a heavy focus on himself with the hope candidates can ride his endorsement alone to victory.
Liz Skalka, 6/27/2021
- For candidates running or contemplating future campaigns, it was a place to be seen. Ohio Sen. candidates Mike Gibbons, Josh Mandel, Bernie Moreno, and Jane Timken made time to schmooze before the main event.
- None of the candidates, who are each vying for Mr. Trump’s endorsement, made it on stage, but they each earned Mr. Trump’s acknowledgment. He asked the crowd to cheer for the candidates they liked best, but the applause was weak and stopped before getting through all the names.
Matt Westerhold, 6/28/2021
- None of the four Republican U.S. Senate candidates hoping to get on stage with ex-President Donald Trump on Saturday got their wish, and the crowd at his “revenge tour” rally gave tepid responses when Trump polled them asking who they liked best.
- But Trump fell far short of endorsing a candidate for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat in 2022 when he polled the audience on Saturday, a small crowd by past Trump rally standards. Trump spent less than two minutes of his 90-minute speech talking about the senate candidates, who have built entire campaigns ingratiating themselves to Trump.
- “Who likes Jane Timken? Who likes Josh Mandel? What about (Mike) Gibbons? Who likes Gibbons?” Trump asked, conducting an applause poll. The response was scant and it was difficult to discern if one candidate prevailed over the others.
- “I think we’ll get out of this poll stuff, huh? We’ll get out. We’ll get out,” Trump said. “… I do love the polls, though. Those polls turn out to be very accurate.”