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Donald Trump brought his carnival barker persona to the White House for four years with his band of wacky hangers-on, but according to one report there’s a politician who even he thought was too “embarrassing” to endorse.
And it might have all been because of a near-physical altercation on stage recently.
Step forward Josh Mandel.
He’s running in the Republican US Senate primary in Ohio, which is one of the most hotly contested endorsement battles of the midterms so far.
Donald Trump has waded into the race, backing JD Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy.
Former state treasurer Josh Mandel had embraced Trump’s base during the battle, but apparently it wasn’t enough to swing Trump’s endorsement.
According to a report from Axios, Vance’s ability to bounce back from a dip in the polls impressed Trump.
And while Vance had previously said some anti-Trump things in the past, him renouncing them appeared to be enough to convince Trump he was loyal to the MAGA ex-president.
But perhaps the most cutting Axios claim for Mandel is that Trump reportedly thought he was “embarrassing” in debates.
Axios said: “Trump was soured by clips of a near-physical debate altercation last month between Mandel and another rival, investment banker Mike Gibbons.”
The winner of the May 3 primary will probably face Representative Tim Ryan in November.
Vance is also backed by the likes of Tucker Carlson, billionaire Peter Thiel, and Don Jr.
For what it's worth, Mandel is undeterred and says he hopes to have Trump's endorsement in the general election, as he expects to beat Vance in the primary:
I continue to be a proud supporter of President Trump and the America First agenda.\n\nI look forward to earning his endorsement in the general election and working with him to defeat Tim Ryan in November.