Donald Trump is reportedly unhappy with an advertisement run by Republicans slamming Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance for his old comments against Trump, because the former president is referred to as “an idiot”, “noxious” and “offensive”.
The advertisement ran ahead of the Ohio Senate race and was intended to discredit Mr Vance, a conservative politician who was earlier seen as a staunch critic of the former president, in the Republican primaries.
“I might have to hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton,” Mr Vance said in another clip from 2016 used in the advert.
The narrator in the advertisement asks — “Who is cheering for the wrong team?”
“JD Vance is not on our team. I’m Mike Gibbons. President Trump made America safer, stronger and more prosperous than ever before. I’m Mike Gibbons, and I approve this message because President Trump fought for you. I’ll do the same,” Mr Gibbons, another candidate in the Republican primary, says in the ad.
However, Mr Trump did not want the ad to run and called Club for Growth president David McIntosh last month to take it down, according to a report by Politico citing three people who were briefed about the matter.
Mr Trump is worried that the advertisement may have a negative effect on his own popularity in Ohio, a state that voted in his favour in the 2020 presidential elections.
While Mr McIntosh, a close aide of the former president, assured him that he will look into the matter, the ad is still running and the campaign efforts have also received additional funding. The Club for Growth reportedly also tried to coax the former president by sending a poll showing his popularity remained the same before and after the commercials aired. However, it isn’t clear if Mr Trump is satisfied.
“The polls … show that the advertising has had no effect on President Trump’s image as his favorable and unfavorable ratings changed by no more than a single point in any market,” the polling memo stated, while adding that the ad had taken a toll on Mr Vance.
Mr Trump’s concerns about the ad’s impact on his popularity is also being seen in light of the upcoming 2022 midterm election, where the former president could try and secure a bid for 2024 presidential elections.
While Mr Trump has not officially made any announcement regarding his own political future, he remains involved in Republican campaigns and has endorsed his favorite candidates, including addressing rallies for them and inviting them to his residence at Mar-a-Lago.
The power he holds in the GOP is also evident from the way he remains the face of campaigns despite allegations surrounding the 6 January riots and several other irregularities.
Mr Trump, however, is yet to endorse a candidate for the Ohio primaries and all candidates, including Mr Vance, are trying to get in his good books.