Lawmaker Loses Major Endorsement After Dissing Trump

A Republican candidate lost the endorsement of Rep. Elise Stefanik when he called Donald Trump “arrogant.” Former Ohio state lawmaker Craig Riedel is challenging Democrat Rep. Marcy Kaptur and was caught on tape saying he doesn’t like the way Trump communicates and “I do think he’s arrogant.” Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk shared the clip on Twitter, and Stefanik replied, saying she was “disappointed in his inappropriate comments regarding President Trump.”

The New York Rep. stated that only candidates “committed to electing President Trump” will win and maintain her support. The Washington Examiner later reported that Riedel had a change of heart and backed Trump, but “it was too late.”

Rep. Stefanik was not alone in withdrawing her support for Riedel. Floridian Rep. Matt Gaetz and Ohio Rep. Max Miller also denounced him. Gaetz described Riedel as a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

The Republican Party is split over Donald Trump, with some well-known figures, such as former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, openly calling for the party to reject him, with others giving their full and public endorsement. Governors backing Trump include South Dakota’s Kristi Noem, Jim Justice of West Virginia, South Carolina’s Henry McMaster, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, chair of the House Republican conference, firmly supports President Trump and recently referred to jailed January 6 demonstrators as “hostages.” She agrees with Trump’s assessment that the Department of Justice, and the legal system more broadly, has been weaponized by the Biden administration to harass conservatives and Republicans. The New York Rep. has also expressed doubt about the result of the 2020 Presidential election.

After challenging the certification of Pennsylvania’s vote on the House floor, Stefanik said, “I stood up for election integrity, and I challenged and objected to the certification of the state of Pennsylvania because of the unconstitutional overreach.” She added that she would be “honored” to serve in a second Trump administration.