As the midterm elections approach in earnest, with just a few short months between now and then, it seems political rallies, fundraisers, and events of some sort are happening all of the time. Some of the biggest, as usual, are those that former President Donald Trump attends.
For instance, on Saturday, he appeared at a “Save America” rally in Youngstown, Ohio, where he personally endorsed the state’s Republican Senate nominee JD Vance. It was noted that much like at a similar event in Pennsylvania, where he promoted the well-known Dr. Oz for his congressional run, the place was “packed.”
What that means for this particular event is that no small number of people heard the 45th president appear to mock his endorsee, according to the Associated Press.
The outlet, of course, isn’t exactly known for its love of Trump or the Republican Party, making it likely for just about anything the former US president says to be critically judged and found wanting.
In this case, the outlet determined that Trump, much like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, isn’t too fond of several of the Party’s candidates this year and made that known in front of thousands on Saturday.
This comes from statements made by Trump during the event that said, “JD is kissing my ass. Of course, he wants my support.” Prior to the event, Trump took to his Truth Social account to say, “Both JD Vance and Dr. Oz asked me to do big Rallies for them in Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively, and I did.” He went on to say that “All Republican candidates want Rallies.” And implied that without such events, they “would lose.”
Outlets such as the AP suggest that this is not so subtle jab at the “quality” of the Republican Party’s candidates, as well as a push for himself.
Now, I’m not so blind or impractical in thinking that Trump doesn’t have a side that’s more than a bit egotistical and self-absorbed.
However, as he’s proven in the past, not everything he says comes off as if he actually means them. His statements are said matter of factly, often without emotion and devoid of sensitivity. But that doesn’t mean that we should read them as being such.
In this case, for example, Trump isn’t likely saying that “ALL” Republican candidates are inept or incapable of winning without his help. He literally wrote, “Without the Rallies and, even more importantly, the Endorsements, most would lose.”
In fact, while he does mention attending rallies for his endorsees and promoting them, what his words are saying is it’s not all about him. In this day and age, rallies and having endorsements, no matter who they come from, are essential to success.
That is what he is saying. And sure, he might be tooting his own horn a bit in saying that he’s willing to do that for those he believes in or those he thinks can win and do the Party some good. But if he might throw his hat in the ring for the White House again, he’s going to have to brag on himself a little, right?
The bottom line, though, is that such endorsements are necessary, especially for incoming candidates who have either never run for a congressional office or don’t have much name cred. So it only makes sense that those candidates will need 1) rallies and 2) endorsements to get their names out there.
And names as big as Trump can definitely make a difference.
Now, Trump does admit that for some candidates, such as Vance, they might not be his favorite, as Vance was not always a fan of Trump and therefore said some rather derogatory things about the former president.
However, Trump is willing to look past those to what he believes Vance can do for the Party and the nation. First and foremost, that means winning his November election. And so, as Trump said at Saturday’s event, the “entire MAGA movement” supports Vance and will continue to do so.