J.D. Vance, author of the bestselling memoir Hillbilly Elegy and now an Ohio Senate candidate, admitted Monday that he regretted his past criticism of former President Donald Trump.
In an interview with Fox News Monday, Vance, who did not vote for Trump, acknowledged his old disapproving tweets from 2016 but confirmed that he’s had a change of heart and believes Trump left a positive legacy.
“Like a lot of people, I criticized Trump back in 2016,” the Ohio based venture capitalist remarked. “And I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’ve been very open 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,” he added, “I think he made a lot of good decisions for people, and I think he took a lot of flak.”
Vance called Trump “noxious” in 2016 and gave his vote to independent Evan McMullin, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Vance stated that he had received condemnation in previous years for supporting some of Trump’s policy priorities, noting, “I think that’s the most important thing, is 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.”
Vance’s entry into the Ohio Republican primary race marks his debut in the political arena. He has branded himself as an anti-elite outsider prepared to confront the government establishment to prioritize American interests and serve the country’s forgotten constituents often belittled by the elected officials who represent them.
Speaking to Fox News Thursday, Vance commented about detached career politicians, “I think so far a lot of them are frustrated, and a little upset with me because I actually say what’s true — which is many of these people don’t care about their own voters, they think they’re either bigoted or they think they’re stupid.”
“We need a new politics for a new generation. The old way of doing things ain’t working,” the contender said at a campaign launch rally in his hometown of Middletown, Ohio.
“You have leaders of this country, in government and in business, who don’t think they owe anything to the country that made them who they are,” he continued.