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WATCH: Trump-Endorsed Senate Candidate Still Says Voters Supported Him “For Racist Reasons”

WATCH: Trump-Endorsed Senate Candidate Still Says Voters Supported Him “For Racist Reasons”

J.D. Vance has done what it takes to get Donald Trump’s endorsement in his Senate race. Whatever that was, it apparently didn’t include abandoning his view that racism is a reason voters throw their support behind the 45th president.

NEWARK, OH – APRIL 30: (L-R) Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) look on as J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, speaks during a campaign rally at The Trout Club on April 30, 2022 in Newark, Ohio. Former President Donald Trump recently endorsed J.D. Vance in the Ohio Republican Senate primary, bolstering his profile heading into the May 3 primary election. Other candidates in the Republican Senate primary field include Josh Mandel, Mike Gibbons, Jane Timken, Matt Dolan and Mark Pukita. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In 2016, J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, a book about his perspective on growing up in Appalachia, was talking to reporters about his view of how growing up in that kind of rural area, and the kind of communities he was familiar with, drove Trumpism. He discussed, in particular, some of his views on racism and how Trump won votes on it.

In a Vox interview, he spoke about the fact that there are still racial disparities in America today, along with the view that someone struggling — “the son of an unemployed West Virginia coal miner” for instance — is limited in his “basic human cognition” to find understanding for the idea that ” a group of people that he doesn’t understand, that he doesn’t even interact with a lot day to day” might have additional struggles due to their race.

About Trump, he said that the then-candidate was “not deeply thoughtful, frankly, on a lot of the way these things overlap and interact,” but that he won in messaging by somehow still communicating, “I am on your side,” to a lot of voters.

To NPR, he made a more direct connection about Trump voters and racism. “There is obviously an element of sort of racial anxiety that animates at least part of Trump’s appeal,” he said, though he indicated he didn’t believe this was the case for all, or even a majority of Trump voters.

Asked to clarify, he described some voters as supporting Trump due to “fear that other people are getting ahead of them in the proverbial line.”

Now, with Trump’s endorsement as a healthy boost to his campaign, does Vance see things differently?

It doesn’t sound like it. Granted, he does carve out a huge space for “most Trump supporters” as “good people,” but even in 2016 he opined that racism was the impetus for only a portion of Trump’s supporters.

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