In a new interview with TIME magazine after announcing his campaign to replace Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance attempted to explain away his about-face on Donald Trump but ultimately revealed that he had no choice but to “suck it up” and support the former president despite his personal misgivings.
“I’m not just a flip-flopper, I’m a flip-flop-flipper on Trump,” Vance admitted in the piece. While he voted for third-party candidate Evan McMullin in 2016 and previously said he found Trump’s attempts to demonize immigrants and Muslims “reprehensible,” now that Vance is running as a Republican in Ohio, he called Trump the “the leader of this movement,” adding, “and if I actually care about these people and the things I say I care about, I need to just suck it up and support him.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he defended the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, saying, “There were some bad apples on Jan. 6, very clearly, but most of the people there were actually super peaceful.”