"JP, right? JD Mandel?": Trump can't seem to remember who he endorsed in Ohio's GOP Senate primary

After boasting about his cognitive abilities this weekend, Trump appeared to confuse the top two GOP candidates

By Jon Skolnik

Published May 2, 2022 12:07PM (EDT)

J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, shakes hands with former President Donald Trump during a rally hosted by the former president at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022 in Delaware, Ohio. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, shakes hands with former President Donald Trump during a rally hosted by the former president at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022 in Delaware, Ohio. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Shortly after boasting about his cognitive abilities at a rally this past weekend, Donald Trump appeared to confuse the names of two candidates from Ohio running for U.S. Senate. 

The brief slip-up was made on Sunday, during an event at the I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska, where the former president failed to distinguish between conservative candidates Josh Mandel and J.D. Vance. 

"We've endorsed Dr. Oz. We've endorsed JP, right? JD Mandel, and he's doing great. They're all doing good," Trump said. 

In fact, Trump has only backed Vance, an endorsement that came last month. "In the great state of Ohio, the candidate most qualified and ready to win in November is JD Vance," the president said in a statement at the time. "We cannot play games. It is all about winning!"

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Days before that endorsement, a Georgia House lawmaker revealed that, in 2016, Vance had regarded Trump "America's Hitler." Vance was previously a strong opponent of Trump during the former president's first presidential campaign. 

During his campaign event, Trump acknowledged Vance's past remarks but ultimately downplayed them. 


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"He's a guy that said some bad shit about me," Trump said. "He did. He did. But you know what? Every one of the others did also. In fact if I went by that standard I don't think I would have ever endorsed anybody in the country."

Vance also boasts endorsements from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Rep. Jim Banks, R-India., and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri.

RELATED: GOP Senate candidate Josh Mandel makes bizarre claim about slavery during debate

Throughout the years, Trump has constantly touted his supposed intelligence, at one point calling himself a "very stable genius." This past weekend, Trump fell back into this pattern, calling himself "perfect specimen" and repeatedly casting doubt over President Biden's mental faculties. 

"Once and for all, Joe Biden should put the question to rest by taking a cognitive test ... releasing the results for the entire world to see," the former president said. "We have a president who has no idea what's happening, who is shaking hands with the air, while Putin talks about nuclear weapons all the time."

The rally was organized in support of a Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbester, who has been accused of groping by multiple women.


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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