Campaign

Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump

Two super PACs released an ad campaign criticizing Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance for past comments he made about former President Trump.

Club for Growth said on Saturday that its expenditure committee, Club for Growth Action, was spending $470,000 on TV and radio ads to be aired in the Cincinnati market featuring previous comments that Vance made about Trump.

The ad uses a clip of an interview Vance did with Charlie Rose in 2016, where he states, "I'm a Never Trump guy. I never liked him."

"As somebody who doesn't like Trump, I might have to hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton," Vance continues, according to the footage in the ad.

The super PAC ad also displays previous tweets that Vance wrote about Trump including one that says, "Wow. Trump tying immigration to heroin. Not unreasonable. Most compelling argument. Then 'hombres.' My god what an idiot."

Politico first reported the story of the ad campaign.

The outlet reported that USA Freedom Fund also spent $470,000 for a video ad in which a narrator says: "J.D. Vance. He abandoned the Republican Party to vote against Trump."

The USA Freedom Fund's ad also used a clip of the Vance-Rose interview and the Twitter screenshot of Vance's tweet calling the former president "an idiot."

The ad campaign from the super PACs, which are putting their weight behind Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, will appear in the Cincinnati market during NCAA and NFL games, according to Politico.

A radio spot will also air with Fox News. 

The ad campaign is perhaps more evidence of the sway that the former president holds over the Republican Party. Other Republican candidates have sought out Trump's endorsement in past elections.  

The "Hillbilly Elegy" author has previously apologized for his criticism of Trump. 

"Like a lot of people, I criticized Trump back in 2016," Vance said during a Fox News interview in early July.

"And I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I've been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy. I think he was a good president, I think he made a lot of good decisions for people, and I think he took a lot of flak." 

Taylor Van Kirk, press secretary for Vance's Senate campaign, told The Hill in a statement that the Ohio Senate candidate supported the former president and suggested the super PACs were "terrified" by Vance.

 

"JD is a strong supporter of President Trump, and his rapid rise in the polls is scaring the same pro-China, globalist D.C. establishment that spent millions of dollars attacking President Trump in 2016, because they're terrified of someone who stands with Trump and working-class Americans on tariffs and a pro-America trade policy getting elected to the US Senate," she said in her statement.

 

"The Club for Growth knows full well that their own polling is phony and that JD has the momentum in this race, otherwise they wouldn't be spending so much money smearing him, the same way they smeared President Trump in 2016 when he began rising in the polls," she added.

Updated 7:46 p.m.

 

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