Marjorie Taylor Greene jumps in the middle of heated Ohio GOP primary race

"I didn't see the authenticity": Marjorie Taylor Greene accuses Josh Mandel of being fake MAGA

By Jon Skolnik

Published May 2, 2022 5:58PM (EDT)

Josh Mandel and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Josh Mandel and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on Saturday said that she was tired of Republicans like U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who "learned to speak MAGA and just repeat it over."

"For Josh Mandel, I didn't see the sincerity there. I didn't see the authenticity. I just saw someone that learned to speak MAGA and just repeat it over and over. I'm tired of those candidates. We don't want those people serving in Congress," she said during a rally in Newark, Ohio. "We don't want those people in Washington. And so that's why I endorsed J.D. [Vance]."

The event was organized as an endorsement of Senate candidate J.D. Vance, one of Mandel's opponents from Ohio, and was attended by Vance himself and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who echoed Greene's remarks.

."I watched the debates and Josh Mandel sort of looks like if you asked Matt Dolan to read talking points written by Jim Jordan," Gaetz said. "All the words are right, but something just doesn't look correct."

https://twitter.com/JDVancePress/status/1520454334626283520

The event comes just weeks after Donald Trump gave Vance his formal endorsement, putting to rest months of anticipation over who the former president would support in the state's primary.

"It was my great honor and distinction to endorse J.D. Vance for the U.S. Senate. He will be strong. He will be conservative," Trump said in a statement last month. "He will do what you want and he's not going to let you down. He was a warrior. He was a great student. He loves your state, and that's why I went for him. So on May 3rd, go out and vote for J.D. Vance. He's going to be terrific."


Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.


RELATED: Trump pal J.D. Vance says Big Tech data collection should be "illegal" — but set to profit from it

https://twitter.com/JDVancePress/status/1520738181251010562

According to an Emerson poll, the author and venture capitalist has the support of 26% of Ohio's primary voters, with Josh Mandel (24%), Matt Dolan (21%), and Mike Gibbons (17%) trailing behind.

Vance has not always been MAGA-friendly despite winning the president's imprimatur – a point that was brought into sharp relief last month when Vance's former roommate, Georgia state Rep. Josh McLaurin, who published an online exchange between the two of them from 2016.

"I go back and forth between thinking Trump is a cynical asshole like Nixon who wouldn't be that bad (and might even prove useful) or that he's America's Hitler," Vance wrote to McLaurin at the time. "How's that for discouraging?"

That same year, Vance wrote in a USA Today column that "Trump's actual policy proposals" are "immoral to absurd." He has also called the former president "reprehensible" in since-deleted tweets.

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


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.

MORE FROM Jon SkolnikFOLLOW jonsskolnik


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Elections 2022 Josh Mandel Maga Marjorie Taylor Greene