Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance said on Monday that he regrets posting since-deleted tweets critical of former President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE.
“Like a lot of people, I criticized Trump back in 2016,” Vance told Fox News's Alicia Acuna during a Monday interview. “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.”
“I think … the most important thing is not what you said five years ago, but whether you’re willing to stand up and take the heat and take the hits for actually defending the interests of the American people,” Vance said.
Vance also said in the clip shared by Mediaite that he met with Trump recently at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Vance, the author of the bestselling memoir "Hillbilly Elegy" and venture capitalist, announced his bid on Thursday to fill retiring Ohio Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMajor US port target of attempted cyber attack Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Officials urge Congress to consider fining companies that fail to report cyber incidents MORE's (R) seat.
He has taken on a pro-Trump stance in recent years but contenders in the crowded GOP field had been expected to pounce on his past criticism of Trump. He has come under fire in recent days after CNN's Andrew Kaczynski posted several since-deleted tweets from Vance saying, among other things, that he would vote for Evan McMullin.
The only Democrat so far vying for the Ohio Senate seat, Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanOhio Republican tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in Rep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress MORE (Ohio), tweeted on Thursday that he and Vance “have exactly one thing in common — neither of us voted for Donald Trump.”