- Trump’s endorsements of JD Vance and Dr. Oz were opposed by some Republican groups, AP reported.
- There are calls to boycott Trump’s upcoming rally in Ohio for his endorsement of Vance.
- Vance and Oz have been criticized for not being committed enough to the former president.
Donald Trump’s endorsements of JD Vance and Dr. Mehmet Oz have boosted candidates and brought in millions in donations, according to reports, but they’ve also sparked a backlash in some conservative circles, according to an AP report.
Dozens of Ohio Republicans wrote to Trump before he announced his endorsement of Vance, urging him to change his mind due to the candidate’s previous anti-Trump comments.
A prominent conservative group aligned with a Vance rival also called for a boycott of Trump’s upcoming Saturday night rally in Ohio due to the endorsement, AP reported.
“To him, endorsing JD Vance really seemed like President Trump was out of touch with what’s happening in Ohio and what his supporters here want,” said Tom Zawistowski, an executive with the group, according to AP.
The state’s pro-Trump Tea Party movement reportedly planned a protest outside the rally. Ohio Value Voters told their supporters to let Trump know that Vance was “bad for Ohio” by booing when he took the stage, the outlet reported.
Vance and Oz have been criticized for not being sufficiently committed to the former president and spending a lot of time outside of the states in which they race.
Oz is running in Pennsylvania, despite living in New Jersey for two decades, and some party activists have suggested he’s not conservative enough on issues like guns and abortion, AP said.
“The Conservative Trumpers are very upset with his endorsement, and they can’t understand it,” Arnold McClure, chairman of the Republican Party in rural Huntingdon County, told AP.
“The Trump era is over in Pennsylvania because of his support for Dr. Oz.”
Trump endorsements accelerate donations
Trump’s decision to endorse both candidates in the fiercely competitive Senate primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania also boosted donations.
Vance’s campaign reported a 300% increase in online donations, a majority from new donors, following Trump’s Good Friday endorsement, according to The Associated Press.
Protect Ohio Values, a pro-Vance super PAC, said it has brought in $5 million since Trump’s endorsement.
That included $3.5 million from billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, adding to the $10 million he gave away last year, according to Politico.
The ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author lagged in the polls ahead of the endorsement, and several Trump-aligned groups such as Club for Growth and Ohio Value Voters endorsed rival Josh Mandel, the former state treasurer , said AP.
Trump’s surprise endorsement of TV personality Dr. Oz in the race against former hedge fund CEO David McCormick also gave the candidate a boost.
The week following the approval, the Oz campaign brought in nearly three times as much money as the previous week, making it its best digital fundraising week yet, campaign manager Casey said. Counters to AP.
It’s unclear whether Trump’s backing will be enough to secure wins for Oz and Vance, but their apparent momentum bolsters the former president’s reputation as a Republican kingmaker.
The Washington Post previously reported that Trump went against some of his advisers by endorsing risky candidates.