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J.D. Vance, venture capitalist and author of "Hillbilly Elegy." Photo: Astrid Riecken for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Author J.D. Vance, who's running in the Ohio Republican race for a U.S. Senate seat, addressed on Fox News Monday his since-deleted tweets criticizing former President Trump.

Why it matters: The venture capitalist and now-vocal Trump supporter has been accused of hypocrisy and "flip-flopping" after CNN's Andrew Kaczynski last week shared screenshots of the 2016 tweets in which Vance said the then-presidential candidate's comments on "Immigrants, Muslims, etc." were "reprehensible."

  • The author of the bestselling "Hillbilly Elegy" also said he would vote for independent Evan McMullin, rather than Trump.
  • Democrat Tim Ryan, who's also running for the Ohio Senate seat, tweeted in response that he and Vance "have exactly one thing in common — neither of us voted for Donald Trump."

What he's saying: Vance told Fox News' Alicia Acuna that "like a lot of people," he criticized Trump in 2016.

  • "I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I've been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy," he said.
  • "I think he was a good president, I think he made a lot of good decisions for people, and I think he took a lot of flak."
"The most important thing, is not what you said five years ago, but whether you're willing to stand up and take the heat and take the hits for actually defending the interests of the American people."

Go deeper

Updated Sep 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden says California voters "will get Trump" if Newsom is ousted

President Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a campaign event at Long Beach City College on Monday. Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden said while campaigning for Gov. Gavin Newsom in California that if the Democrat is ousted in Tuesday's recall election, voters will end up with a "clone of Donald Trump" as governor.

Between the lines: Although Biden never mentioned him by name, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder has emerged as Newsom's biggest threat. Elder in 2019 described Trump's 2016 election win as "God-sent," and state Democrats have sought to imply that a vote for him is a vote for Trumpism.

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.