Donald Trump Jr., Vance-Backing PAC Blast Mandel for Establishment Ties
J.D, Vance speaks at the FreedomWorks Forum for Ohio's Republican Senate candidates on March 18, 2022 in Columbus. (Andrew Spear/Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Thursday, 21 April 2022 08:23 PM
An ad from a super PAC supporting J.D. Vance highlights a Newsmax clip of Josh Mandel, a fellow Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, claiming he is "anti-establishment."
But Donald Trump Jr. posted on Twitter that Mandel's past tidying up to Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,, suggests strong establishment GOP ties.
"Ohio friends – Meet the real @JoshMandelOhio," Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Thursday, sharing the Protect Ohio Values PAC TV ad. "The Club for Chinese Growth backed establishment candidate in the #OHSen race."
The tweet was referring to the Club for Growth's backing of Mandel in the hotly contested Ohio Senate GOP primary race. Former President Donald Trump has come out to endorse Vance in the race, much to the dismay of other Trump-supporting candidates in the race.
The ad was put out by Protect Ohio Values PAC, which has reportedly received as much as $13.5 million from Trump-supporting tech billionaire Peter Thiel.
"One of the things that is setting me apart right now is how strongly anti-establishment I am, taking on the squishy establishment Republicans, Mitt Romney and others," Mandel told Newsmax host John Bachman in the video clip from "John Bachman Now."
But the Protect Ohio Values ad shows several instances in which Mandel was either praising or getting praise from the very anti-Trump establishment Republicans Romney, Kasich — who spoke at the Democratic National Convention for Joe Biden in August 2020 — and McCain, who has been alleged to have first publicly shared the Christopher Steele dossier alleging Trump campaign ties to Russia.
''It has become clear over time that [the dossier's] sourcing was thin and sketchy,'' according to The New York Times.
In one of his last actions in the Senate, McCain also cast the deciding no vote in the Republican attempt to pass a "skinny repeal" of Obamacare in the early years of the Trump administration.
In the Protect Ohio Values ad, Mandel is even shown saying he would work with former President Barack Obama, whose policies Trump spent years in office unraveling.
A poll released Thursday showed that Trump's endorsement of Vance has given him a large lead in the pivotal Senate GOP primary to be held May 3.