“Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate Senate in Ohio, now says he regrets critical tweets about Donald Trump back in 2016.
Vance’s comments came in a Monday interview on Fox News.
“Like a lot of people, I criticized Trump back in 2016,” Vance said. “And I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’ve been very open about the fact that I did say those critical things and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy. I think he was a good president, I think he made a lot of good decisions for people, and I think he took a lot of flak.
“And as you probably appreciate I’ve taken a lot of flak myself over the last few years for standing up for the president’s voters, but for all standing up for the agenda.
“And I think that’s the most important thing. It’s not what you said five years ago, but whether you’re willing to stand up and take the heat and take the hits for actually defending the interests of the American people because that’s what this business of politics should be all about.”
Politico noted Vance had criticized Trump in Twitter posts that have since been deleted. CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski, in a Thursday Twitter post, noted: “Vance also deleted a tweet saying he found Trump reprehensible from 2016 because of his views on “immigrants, Muslims, etc.”
The Hill noted Vance has taken a pro-Trump stance in recent years. And Politico noted he recently visited Trump in Florida in an effort to secure his endorsement.
His book was seen in 2016 as helping explain Trump’s appeal to struggling white, working-class voters. Vance, a venture capitalist who became a popular TV political commentator, was dubbed “the Trump whisperer” for his ability to explain the Republican's rise to the presidency. His book became a Ron Howard-directed movie.
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, the only Democrat to enter the race so far, tweeted on Thursday that he and Vance “have exactly one thing in common — neither of us voted for Donald Trump.”
Vance is not expected to have trouble raising money. Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel, an early mentor and employer of Vance, gave $10 million to a super PAC formed to encourage his Senate candidacy.
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