Former President Donald Trump traveled to Ohio over the weekend to boost GOP Senate hopeful J.D. Vance, and Trump pushed back on a New York Times report that some Republican candidates are distancing themselves from him as they head into November.
“The New York Times did a fake story today, big front page, that J.D. wasn’t sure if you wanted my support,” Trump said at the Youngstown rally, per NBC News’ Jesse Kirsch. “J.D. is kissing my ass. He wants my support.”
Vance’s spokesman Luke Schroeder told Kirsch that Vance “has been calling on the president to join us on the campaign trail, both publicly and privately, throughout the summer,” but the Times reported that Vance did not specifically invite Trump to the state. The rally also came as Vance finds himself in an unexpectedly tight race against Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan.
Not every GOP Senate candidate is eager to campaign with Trump. Colorado Republican Joe O’Dea noted on “Meet the Press” that Trump has not endorsed him, adding, “I don’t want to see him run again.” Trump’s favorability also reached a new post-presidency low in the latest national NBC News poll.
For his part, Trump once again teased another run for the White House, telling the crowd in Ohio, “Stay tuned, everybody, stay tuned.”
Elsewhere on the campaign trail:
Georgia Senate: Republicans are focusing new attacks on Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock on his “financial gains” since taking office, Politico reports.
Pennsylvania Senate: The Philadelphia Inquirer delves into the cognitive tests that Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman took as he recovers from a stroke. And Politico reports that an internal Fetterman campaign memo raised concerns about increased GOP ad spending.
Arkansas Governor: Arkansas Republican gubernatorial nominee Sarah Sanders says she is “cancer free” after surgery for thyroid cancer, and released a statement from her doctor saying: “I don’t anticipate any of this slowing her down.”
Arizona Governor: NBC News’ Liz Brown-Kaiser confirmed that Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin plans to campaign with Arizona GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake.
Nevada Governor: NBC News’ Adam Edelman reports on how GOP gubernatorial nominee Joe Lombardo is focusing heavily on education issues as he tries to win in a purple state. He’s also facing criticism from the Las Vegas Sun editorial board for speaking at a church it called “infamous for its violently anti-gay rhetoric.”
Maine-02: The Associated Press reports on how the rematch between Democratic Rep. Jared Golden and former Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin could be a bellwether.
Texas-34: The Texas Tribune reports that Republican Rep. Mayra Flores’ district director resigned amid sexual harassment allegations stemming from both his time in Flores’ office and at the county Republican Party. The former staffer denies the allegations.