J.D. Vance Says He Would Accept the Election Results, With a Caveat

Senator J.D. Vance, the Ohio Republican who is a contender to be former President Donald J. Trump’s running mate, hedged on Sunday when he was asked whether he would accept the results of the November election.

“If we have a free and fair election, I will accept the results,” Mr. Vance told CNN’s Dana Bash during an appearance on the show “State of the Union.”

Mr. Vance, 39, whom the Trump campaign has enlisted as a surrogate, signaled that Republicans were preparing for the prospect of election disputes.

“We have to be willing, as Democrats did in 2000, as Democrats have done in the past, and certainly as Republicans did in 2020, is if you think they were problems, you have to be willing to pursue those problems and try to prosecute your case,” he said.

Mr. Vance is expected to join Mr. Trump on Wednesday in Cincinnati at a fund-raiser, a possible audition to be Mr. Trump’s running mate. He also attended a recent event at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s club in Florida, with several other vice-presidential contenders and Republican donors.

Mr. Vance has appeared eager to demonstrate his loyalty to Mr. Trump, telling ABC News in February that he if he had been vice president on Jan. 6, 2021, he would have allowed Congress to consider fraudulent slates of pro-Trump electors before certifying the election.

Mike Pence, who was vice president at the time, rebuffed Mr. Trump’s calls to disrupt the transfer of power after Joseph R. Biden Jr. won the presidency.

During Mr. Vance’s interview with CNN on Sunday, he also defended Mr. Trump’s recent comments that “any Jewish person” who had voted for Mr. Biden “should be ashamed of themselves.”

“We have to remember, Donald Trump is very direct here,” Mr. Vance said. “And he hasn’t singled out Jewish Americans. He singled out a lot of people for voting for Joe Biden.”

Mr. Vance has not always been an unflagging acolyte of the former president.

Before the 2016 election, Mr. Vance, a venture capitalist and the author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” his best-selling memoir, called Mr. Trump a “cultural heroin” and a demagogue who was “leading the white working class to a very dark place.”

But his candidacy for the Senate in 2022 garnered the backing of one of the most influential figures in the “Make America Great Again” world: the former president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who vouched for Mr. Vance on social media during a crowded Republican primary. It would open a door to an endorsement from the former president himself.


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