Trump asks if Rand Paul has ‘learned lesson’ on endorsements
Former President Trump singled out Sen. Rand Paul on Thursday, asking if the Kentucky Republican “will apologize” for breaking with him in an Ohio GOP House primary.
Trump’s candidate of choice, coal industry lobbyist Mike Carey, won that primary on Tuesday, all but assuring that he’ll go on to succeed former Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), who stepped down earlier this year to lead the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Paul, meanwhile, had thrown his support behind former Ohio state Rep. Ron Hood in the Ohio primary, putting himself at odds with Trump. A political action committee aligned with Paul spent heavily in support of Hood — an investment that didn’t go unnoticed by Trump.
Hood placed third in the Tuesday primary, falling more than 20 points short of Carey.
“Do you think Rand Paul will apologize for spending nearly $1 Million on another candidate in Ohio’s 15th District congressional race after I had already endorsed Mike Carey?” Trump said in a statement. “In any event, Mike went on to an unprecedented victory, more than doubling the second placed finisher and Rand’s candidate came in a distant third out of eleven.”
Trump was quick to tout Carey’s win this week as his own as he seeks to prove his dominance over the GOP. The former president has faced challenges to his influence in recent weeks after his preferred candidate in a Texas runoff lost to another Republican.
Several Senate Republicans also broke with Trump last week in voting to take up a bipartisan infrastructure bill that he had lobbied against.
His remarks on Paul on Thursday suggest that he’s willing to go after even his allies when it comes to his post-presidential influence in Republican politics.
“Rand is a different kind of guy, but I like him a lot anyway, and I’m proud to have endorsed him when when he ran,” he said. “Do you think he learned his lesson?”