Trump-backed Ohio Senate candidate once called former president a ‘fake Republican’: Report

Old tweets have been uncovered from Bernie Moreno, a leading Republican candidate for Ohio’s Senate seat, where he heavily criticized former President Donald Trump, according to CNN on Friday.

Moreno, a businessman and father-in-law of Rep. Max Miller (R-FL), won Trump’s endorsement in December, beating out two other Republicans who also sought the endorsement. Trump called on the GOP to unite around Moreno “in what will be the most important Election in American History.”

In the since-deleted tweets from 2016 discovered by a CNN KFile, the outlet uncovered statements from Moreno, accusing Trump of working with Hillary Clinton to “take down” the Republican Party, adding it’s “time to shine the light on this fake Republican.”

Moreno attacked Trump in 2016 on the radio show America Now with Megan McCain, in audio uncovered by CNN. Moreno spoke on the potential of Trump being the Republican nominee in 2016, saying Trump is painting “a very pessimistic view of America,” adding he plays “to people’s worst emotions.”

Similar findings were uncovered by the Daily Beast in August, including screenshots and liked tweets about the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, in which Moreno referred to Trump’s supporters as “criminals.”

In the state’s highly competitive race, Moreno joins two Republicans, state Sen. Matt Dolan and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, in vying for Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) seat. All three Republican candidates sought Trump’s endorsement, who won over Ohio in 2016 and 2020, but Moreno ultimately came out on top. 

LaRose, another top GOP candidate who endorsed Trump in 2024 and sought his support in his bid for Ohio’s Senate seat, has also previously attacked the former president — calling a 2019 tweet from Trump about progressive members of Congress “racist.”

In a statement to CNN, Moreno’s spokesman said, “It’s no secret that Bernie, like many others, was initially skeptical of President Trump, but he has never been so happy to be proven wrong about something.”


“By the time the 2020 election came around, he was an avid supporter and is proud to have been the first candidate for US Senate to endorse President Trump in the 2024 race,” the spokesman added.

The Washington Examiner reached out to Trump and Moreno for comment.

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