MUST READ: Donald Trump Isn’t Buying Frank LaRose’s Excuses As He Tries To Outrun “History of Criticism”
October 20, 2023
Trump World: “It has not been lost on the Trump team that candidates like Frank LaRose have not defended President Trump…”
Columbus, OH – According to a new report from NBC, Donald Trump isn’t buying Frank LaRose’s excuses as he tries to outrun his “history of Trump criticism” – including calling Trump “racist,” and positioning himself himself as “Never Trump” before reversing course and endorsing the former president this year – something he refused to do in 2016, 2020, and throughout the first week of his Senate campaign.
In a radio interview earlier this month, LaRose claimed he was “fooled” by fellow anti-Trumper John Kasich and was “victim of a ‘false narrative.” He also tried to “clean up” calling Trump “racist.” Earlier this year, LaRose was caught on tape dismissing the value of a Trump endorsement, saying it “doesn’t carry as much weight as it once did.”
“‘It has not been lost on the Trump team that candidates like Frank LaRose have not defended President Trump’ or embraced his claims about the 2020 election…‘that’ll be a big inflection point throughout the election.’”
NBC: A new crop of GOP Senate candidates grapples with Trump-skeptical pasts
October 20, 2023
- When Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose called into a local radio show this month, the host grilled the Republican Senate hopeful over his past disdain for former President Donald Trump — like how he positioned himself as “Never Trump” before the 2016 election and how he described Trump’s 2019 social media tirade against Black members of Congress as racist.
- LaRose was ready with excuses for Bob Frantz, one of the state’s most influential right-wing voices. He said he had been “fooled” by the state’s anti-Trump former governor, John Kasich. He claimed to be the victim of a “false narrative” from a GOP primary rival. And he insisted he had never accused Trump of racism, offering a cleaned-up answer that didn’t match the quote that The Cincinnati Enquirer had printed after an editorial board interview.
- For good measure, LaRose mentioned that he and Trump had dined together recently: “My Trump credentials are golden, rock-solid,” said LaRose, who has endorsed Trump’s 2024 campaign.
- A source close to Trump, who was not authorized to speak on the record, told NBC News that “it has not been lost on the Trump team that candidates like Frank LaRose have not defended President Trump” or embraced his claims about the 2020 election. “That’ll be a big inflection point throughout the election,” the source added.
- Trump has encouraged, but not endorsed, Moreno’s candidacy despite the candidate’s past disparaging comments, which surfaced during his brief run in the state’s 2022 Senate primary. Moreno, who initially supported Marco Rubio and donated to Kasich in the 2016 presidential race, has since grown closer with Trump — a relationship fostered by his daughter, who worked for Trump, and by Vance, who has endorsed Moreno. A third GOP contender in Ohio, state Sen. Matt Dolan, also ran in 2022 and is sticking with a message that largely ignores Trump while showing little interest in courting the former president.
- So far, LaRose’s campaign has had the hallmarks of a candidate worried about alienating Trump. His team attempted to clarify his remarks after an August interview in which LaRose spoke supportively of former Vice President Mike Pence’s role in certifying the 2020 election results. LaRose also recently fired the press secretary in his state office over personal tweets that made fun of Trump.
- But in the final days of the 2016 race, after the old “Access Hollywood” footage of Trump bragging about sexual assault leaked, LaRose told The Akron Beacon Journal he would not vote for Trump.