Trump calls McConnell ‘disgrace’ at Ohio rally

Politics

(NewsNation) — Former President Donald Trump held a rally in Ohio, despite not being invited, stumping for Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance.

Trump highlighted all the pre-midterm Republican talking points in his long speech delivered in Ohio, accusing Democrats of leading a “witch hunt” against him while referencing the current Department of Justice investigation into his holding of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The former president also teased at a presidential run in 2024, lambasted Joe Biden and Democrats for high inflation, immigration at the southern border, crime and took aim at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, saying voter were going to “end” her political career in November.

“A very Trumpian speech for good or for bad,” said The Hill columnist Niall Stanage.

Trump also took verbal shots at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him a “disgrace,” drawing a loud cheer from the crowd in Ohio.

Stanage said this is “not good at all” for the Republican party.

“It’s no surprise, Mr. Trump and Sen. McConnell don’t like each other and haven’t really liked each other at any point,” Stanage said.

Supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump attend his rally in Youngstown, Ohio, U.S., on September 17, 2022. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse

Trump has made the rounds touting other candidates who’ve gotten his endorsement. Earlier this month, he was in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania stumping for Senate candidate Mehmet Oz and gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano, although as The Hill columnist Niall Stanage noted to NewsNation, he didn’t speak much about either.

“He didn’t really mention Mehmet Oz or Doug Mastriano until really quite late in his remarks,” Stanage said after the Pennsylvania event.

In Pennsylvania, Trump did hint about running for president again, as he has done before, and decried the FBI search of his home in Florida.

At the Saturday rally in Ohio, speakers set to appear include Vance and Ohio congressmen Jim Jordan and Bill Johnson, as well as Republican congressional candidates Max Miller, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert and J.R. Majewski, Newsweek reported.

Vance’s race against Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan has gotten much media attention. Currently, the Republican holds a four-point lead over Ryan in the Senate race according to a new Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey released Friday. 

Ryan’s campaign rolled out a new ad on Saturday mocking Vance ahead of the rally which is set to take place during Ohio State University’s game against the University of Toledo. 

Vance leads Ryan 44 percent to 40 percent, per the poll cited by The Hill. While The Hill said Republicans were expected to have a slight advantage as Ohio is red-leaning, Ryan and other Democrats say they still have a chance at flipping the seat.

The Washington Post reported that GOP donors have been concerned Vance is running a “lazy” and ineffective campaign. But he told the newspaper in a brief interview that he plans to step up his campaign activity.

“We’re in the phase of the campaign where more and more people are paying attention so intensity dials up a little bit,” Vance said.

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