Donald Trump Goes After Ohio Republican Over Primary Election Ad Campaign

Photo: Getty Images

Donald Trump unexpectedly revoked his support for a GOP ally who refused his order to halt a smear ad campaign of a Republican Senate candidate in Ohio.

Earlier this month, Trump publicly supported Club for Growth chief executive David McIntosh, telling a crowd at a North Carolina rally, "He's a winner. He's a fighter. We are undefeated when we work together."

According to CNN, McIntosh returned the pleasantries on stage, replying, "You're a great man. ... I am so proud to partner with you."

But that all came to a stop after McIntosh, who previously ran for Congress, refused to end a series of attack ads against Trump-backed Senate hopeful J.D. Vance, even after Trump asked him personally to stop. Insiders familiar with the situation say that not only did McIntosh not pull the ads, but he also posted more and even went after Trump's previous support for Mitt Romney's 2018 election.

On top of that, Club for Growth publicly put its support behind an entirely different candidate, former state treasurer Josh Mandel in the contentious Republican primary election, which is happening after Sen. Rob Portman vacated the seat.

"Go f--k yourself," Trump wrote in a text to McIntosh, sources told The New York Times. The two reportedly haven't spoken since and Club For Growth launched a new round of campaign ads on Wednesday (April 27), this time going after Vance's previous criticism of Trump.

Photo: Getty Images

Why Any of This Matters to You

The fallout between McIntosh and Trump has left some Republican candidates wobbling on where they stand between the two. Internally, Club for Growth is reportedly worried that without Trump's backing, donors won't support the organization and it will lose influence in this critical election cycle.

And that's why it matters. The 2022 midterm election is critical given the balance of power in each chamber that could virtually be up for grabs. For Trump, who was ousted in the 2020 general election, his quest to seize control and influence over the GOP continues at the state-level elections where he's put his support behind a select few candidates. These internal feuds among Republicans –– especially in a swing state like Ohio –– only hinders that quest.

Basically, the power of voter turnout, it can be argued, only goes up as such influence wavers and GOP allegiances split.

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