Ohioans were glued to their TV screens Saturday night during Donald Trump’s rally for Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance. But they were far more likely to be watching an Ohio State football game rather than anything political.
The fumbling schedule for the rally was very unfortunately held the same time as an Ohio State game against the University of Toledo. (The Buckeyes won 77-21). That happened because Trump and Vance “apparently don’t know how Ohio works,” Mediaite quipped last week. The Columbus Dispatch reported last week that a record-breaking 10.5 million viewers tuned in to Ohio State’s game against the University of Notre Dame earlier this month.
No one was happier about the goof up than Democrat Tim Ryan, who’s running against hedge-fund founder Vance.
Ryan even made a campaign ad mocking it by turning the rally into another kind of football game — for losers.
Ryan’s conclusion: “J.D. Vance is playing Ohio.”
Trump touted Vance in his Youngstown speech. But he also spent much of the time complaining about several investigations into his own suspect activities, which he perceives as persecution. He also lamented — to music — the dark, apocalyptic chaos of current times as supporters gave him a raised-arm, single finger “salute” that some described as a QAnon gesture.
The New York Times reported Friday that candidates Trump touts at his rallies are not all happy about it.
Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, suddenly appeared to distance himself from Trump once he won his primary, to broaden his appeal for the general election. He did, however, dutifully attend Trump’s rally early this month in Pennsylvania.
Trump, in an apparent response to the Times story, insisted to the crowd in typically vulgar Trump-speak that Vance is “kissing my ass.”
He also claimed in a Truth Social post earlier in the day that “both J.D. Vance and Dr. Oz asked me to do big rallies for them.” He added: “Look at the massive crowds. Both candidates wanted this — and I delivered.”
But the Times reported that neither candidate asked him to hold the rallies.
Correction: A previous version of this article listed an incorrect final score for the Ohio State football game. Ohio State won 77-21.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.