Donald Trump humiliated JD Vance for fun



CNN

Donald Trump needs you to know that the Republican candidates don’t just like him, they love him. And they need him. bad

At a rally in support of Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance on Saturday night, Trump made sure the crowd knew Vance was rooting for him.

“JD is kissing who wants my help so bad,” Trump said.

Trump was reacting to a New York Times story that Vance had not invited Trump to campaign with him in the state. Instead, Trump’s team told Vance they would come to Ohio for a rally.

Trump’s campaign stops have always been primarily about Trump. You can tell by how much time he spends talking about himself (a lot) and how much time he spends talking about the candidate he’s apparently campaigning for (very little).

But rarely has he thrown a candidate he supported so directly under the bus as Vance did over the weekend. “He made JD Vance look like a mouse, not a man,” former Virginia Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock told CNN. “It was humiliating.”

Comstock is right. It’s hard to see Trump’s characterization of Vance as nothing more than a lackey benefiting him in a surprising contest against Democrat Tim Ryan this fall. Even for voters who like Trump, the portrayal of Vance as little more than a lickpittle is not very appealing.

But that’s not what Trump cares about. Not really.

Of course, he visited Ohio to campaign for Vance, at least on the surface. But what Trump is really doing is polishing his brand and basking in the adulation of his most die-hard supporters. To quote Trump more than three decades ago: “The show is Trump, and it’s sold-out shows everywhere.”

That’s you always You have to remember that when you’re trying to understand the strategy or motivation behind something Trump does. Trump is about Trump: first, last and forever.

And so the most important thing that Trump wanted to convey to those in attendance in Ohio over the weekend is not why they should vote for Vance. It’s that he remains very popular among Republicans and that every GOP candidate — including Vance — is desperate for his endorsement.

That such an argument belittles Vance and makes him seem petty and desperate doesn’t bother Trump. The key (and only) concern is how Trump looks: strong, powerful, and still very coveted.

That’s all that matters.