Trump asked a conservative group to take down ads highlighting JD Vance's Never-Trump past because he was worried it would somehow hurt his own popularity in Ohio: report
- Trump reportedly asked the
Club for Growth's president to take down their ads against JD Vance.
- He was worried that the ads, which highlight Vance's anti-Trump past, could hurt his own popularity.
But while McIntosh reportedly said he would look into the matter, the group invested another half a million dollars on the ads on Wednesday.
"I'm a Never-Trump guy, I never liked him," says Vance in the ad. "I might have to hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton."
Vance is shown in the ad describing the former president as "noxious," "outrageous," "offensive," "reprehensible," and an "idiot," while also stating that he did not vote for him in 2016.
The ad also highlight's Vance's stated admiration for Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, a notable anti-Trump Republican.
According to three people who spoke to POLITICO, Trump told McIntosh that the commercials could drive down his popularity in Ohio, where Vance is running a hard-fought campaign against several other conservatives including Josh Mandel and Jane Timken. Trump has not endorsed in the race yet.
"President Trump loves Ohio, and you don't have to look any further than his historic 8-point victory in 2020 to know Ohio loves President Trump," a spokesman for the former president told POLITICO. "No wonder that every candidate in Ohio has become a champion for America First. The strongest 'Trump' candidate will surely win."
The Club for Growth also reportedly sent a polling memo to Trump's team making the case that the ads hadn't affected Trump's popularity at all in the state.
"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 memo read, according to POLITICO.
Vance campaign manager Jordan Wiggins told POLITICO that the group was "desperate to stop JD," because he doesn't share the group's "globalist pro-China trade agenda" while noting that the group worked against Trump in the 2016 primaries.
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