J.D. Vance had a well-established record of bashing Donald Trump before ultimately groveling for — and winning — the former president's endorsement in the upcoming Republican U.S. Senate primary in Ohio.
But an unearthed Facebook message from 2016 shows just how shameless Vance’s pivot from Trump skeptic to sycophant has truly been. On Monday, Democratic Georgia state Rep. Josh McLaurin, Vance's old college roommate, tweeted what he said was a message he received from Vance, who expressed concern that Trump might be “America’s Hitler.”
“I go back and forth between thinking Trump might be a cynical asshole like Nixon who wouldn’t be that bad (and might even prove useful) or that he might be America’s Hitler,” Vance wrote, according to McLaurin's tweet. “How’s that for discouraging?”
Vance previously used words like “idiot,” “noxious” and “reprehensible” to describe Trump — but that was before he sought the former president's endorsement. He’s since deleted his tweets criticizing Trump and said he regrets speaking ill of him.
Vance’s team quickly went into damage control following McLaurin's tweet Monday.
“It’s laughable that the media treats JD not liking Trump 6 years ago as some sort of breaking news, when they’ve already covered it to death since this race began,” campaign manager Jordan Wiggins told conservative outlet The Washington Times.
Of course, the issue here isn’t merely that Vance didn’t like Trump, but that he apparently acknowledged Trump’s similarities to a genocidal Nazi who killed millions — and now supports Trump regardless.
“Clearly, President Trump trusts that JD is a genuine convert, as out of all the Republican candidates running, he endorsed JD and concluded that he is the strongest America First conservative in the race,” Wiggins added, The Washington Times reported.
It’s always helpful when Trump World figures and their associates use cultish language — like “convert” — to expose their sheepish ways. That said, neither Vance nor his team have denounced the comparison between Trump and Hitler. Maybe he still thinks it’s accurate. And as a Trump loyalist now, maybe he pictures himself as America’s equivalent of a brownshirt — a soldier picked to carry out Trump’s violent, antidemocratic vision for the nation.