J.D. Vance — who Trump once joked was 'kissing my ass' — comes to his defense as GOP points fingers for their disappointing midterm results

Former President Donald Trump and Sen.-elect J.D. Vance.
Former President Donald Trump and Sen.-elect J.D. Vance.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Senator-elect J.D. Vance has come to the defense of former President Donald Trump.

  • The GOP has blamed Trump for the party's setbacks in the 2022 midterm elections.

  • Vance wrote in an op-ed that "blaming Trump isn't just wrong on the facts, it is counterproductive."

J.D. Vance, the Republican senator-elect from Ohio, defended Donald Trump for the GOP party's losses in the 2022 midterm elections as critics place the blame largely on the former president.

"And every person claiming victory on Tuesday morning knew exactly who to blame on Tuesday night: Donald J. Trump,"  Vance wrote in an op-ed published on Monday in The American Conservative magazine titled, "Don't Blame Trump."

Vance said as the results started rolling in from last week's midterm election cycle "it was clear the outcome was far more disappointing than hoped."

"Of course, no man is above criticism. But the quick turn from gobbling up credit to vomiting blame suggests there is very little analysis at work," said Vance, adding, "there is a lot we don't know."

Vance defeated Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, but Democrats defied historical trends and won control of the Senate, and picked up victories in several statehouse races. However, control of the House has yet to be determined.

Vance was one of the many Republican candidates endorsed by Trump, who also quipped that Vance was "kissing my ass" for support.

The senator-elect said "blaming Trump" for the party's setbacks in the midterms "isn't just wrong on the facts, it is counterproductive."

"Any autopsy of Republican underperformance ought to focus on how to close the national money gap, and how to turn out less engaged Republicans during midterm elections," said Vance who noted, "in every marquee national race, Republicans got crushed financially."

He added, "These are the problems we have, and rather than blaming everyone else, it's time for party leaders to admit we have these problems and work to solve them."

Vance declared that the Republican Party "more than ever" needs Trump who is expected to launch a 2024 presidential run on Tuesday.

"Our party has one major asset, contra conventional wisdom, to rally these voters: President Donald Trump," the senator-elect said. "Now, more than ever, our party needs President Trump's leadership to turn these voters out and suffers for his absence from the stage."

Vance continued, "The point is not that Trump is perfect."

"But any effort to pin blame on Trump, and not on money and turnout, isn't just wrong," he said. "It distracts from the actual issues we need to solve as a party over the long term."

Read the original article on Business Insider