Trump Sets 4 Ohio GOP Senate Hopefuls Against Each Other In ‘Apprentice’-Style Meeting
At the late end of fundraiser at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach last week, former President Donald Trump sat down four hopefuls for Ohio’s upcoming Senate race in a meeting where the four fought for Trump’s endorsement.
Former Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, former state GOP Chair Jane Timken, technology company executive Bernie Moreno and investment banker Mike Gibbons sat at a round table Wednesday night with Trump while the former president posed the four increasingly inflammatory questions meant to force the Senate-hopefuls against each other.
All four hopefuls tried to convince Trump that they each were to most loyal to the former President. Gibbons touted large financial donations to Trump’s campaigns, Moreno said that his daughter worked for Trump’s 2020 campaign as a staffer, Mandel used especially Trumpian language saying he was “crushing” Timken in polls.
Trump occasionally questioned the hopefuls loyalty, at one point, saying that Timken had once defended Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) who voted to impeach Trump in January. Timken then appealed to Trump saying she had “cleaned” her position after asking Gonzalez to resign.
Trump later asked Mandel if he was truly committed to Senate race, citing Mandel’s choice to withdraw from the state’s 2018 Senate race because of his wife’s diminishing health. Mandel said to Trump, “Mr. President I only know two ways to do things: either not at all, or balls to the wall. I hired a bunch of killers on my team. I’m a killer, and we’re going to win the primary and then the general.”
The chat did not end with Trump making a definitive choice as to who he will back in the upcoming Senate race. Trump has not made an endorsement and likely will not for some time.