Republicans are avoiding former President Donald Trump
's first of a planned series of political rallies, which is set to begin Saturday in a small Ohio town.
The Columbus Dispatch and other media
outlets have reported that Gov. Mike DeWine
, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and Sen. Rob Portman
will all be absent from the event.
DeWine, who blasted Trump following the Capitol riot
for starting a "fire" that "threatened to burn down our democracy
," has cited a conflicting family
Husted and Portman have not provided an explanation for their absences. Portman was among the first to call for the removal of House committee appointments from the controversial QAnon-conspiracy-peddling Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
(R-GA), who was endorsed by Trump.
At his "Save America
" rally, Trump is expected to attack
Republicans he considers disloyal to him, including Rep. Anthony Gonzalez
of Ohio, who voted for Trump's second impeachment
Trump is also expected to reiterate his "big lie
" that Democrat Joe Biden
won the 2020 presidential election
because it was rigged. Trump is scheduled to appear Saturday at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, population 6,000.
“Of course, he’ll talk about some of the Republicans
he believes stabbed him in the back, beginning with [Reps.] Anthony Gonzalez in Ohio, Liz Cheney
, Adam Kinzinger
, and the people
who voted against him in the House during the impeachment,” David B. Cohen, a political scientist at the University
of Akron, told The Blade in a recent interview
In a recent podcast
interview, Trump stated that he chose Ohio in part to support Gonzalez's opponent, former White House
aide Max Miller, whom the former president has endorsed. Trump stated in a recent podcast interview that he does not believe Gonzalez "represents the people" or "thinks the way I do."
Gonzalez, a former Ohio State University football
star and NFL receiver, won his district by a comfortable 26 percentage points in the 2020 election
, garnering 15,000 more votes
Gonzalez is yet another prominent Ohio Republican who has stated that he will not attend Trump's rally.
Rep. Jim Jordan
of Ohio, a Trump disciple, is expected to attend, as are Senate
candidates Jane Timken, J.D. Vance
, and Josh Mandel, who are all seeking to replace Portman, who is retiring next year, and are hoping for Trump's endorsement, according to Forbes. DeWine's primary opponent, former Rep. Jim Renacci, is also expected to attend.