(GoRealNewsNow.com) – In a development exposing internal rifts in the GOP, a congressional candidate has lost the backing of House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik after a tape was leaked of him attacking former President Donald Trump as “arrogant.”
Listen to the leaked audio recording below!
US Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has rescinded her endorsement of former Ohio State Representative Craig Riedel, a candidate in the GOP primary for the seat held by Democrat US Rep. Marcy Kaptur since 1983.
This decision followed reports of Riedel’s critical remarks about former President Donald Trump, The Daily Caller reports.
Stefanik’s withdrawal of support was announced on Thursday, following the emergence of leaked audio, disseminated by Turning Point USA in early December and reported by various news outlets, in which Riedel referred to Trump as “arrogant.”
Stefanik, who had initially endorsed Riedel for the primary in July, expressed her disappointment on X.
“Earlier this week, I informed Craig Riedel (OH-09) that I will be withdrawing my endorsement. I was very disappointed in his inappropriate comments regarding President Trump,” she stated.
“As we begin 2024, my focus is on ensuring we nominate the strongest candidates on the ballot who are committed to electing President Trump this November and expanding our House GOP Majority,” the high-profile GOP lawmaker added.
In the leaked audio, Riedel voiced his opinion that the party should move in a different direction in 2024 and noted his reluctance to seek Trump’s support in the primary.
“Donald Trump, he’s a different person than me. I don’t like the way he communicates. I think he is arrogant. I don’t like the way he calls people names. I just don’t think that’s very becoming of a president,” Riedel is heard saying.
After the leak, Riedel shifted his stance, endorsing Trump and attributing the tape to a ploy by “Matt Gaetz and a social media trickster pull[ing] a stunt yesterday to try and convince President Trump to get involved in my congressional primary.”
The primary race also includes J.R. Majewski, a candidate who has faced allegations of exaggerating his military service and previously referred to Trump as “an idiot.”
Majewski ran for the same seat in 2022, losing to Kaptur with a vote percentage of 43.4% to Kaptur’s 56.6%.
In response to the leaked audio, top House Republicans recruited state Representative Derek Merrin to enter the highly competitive primary shortly before the filing deadline.
We obtained EXCLUSIVE leaked audio exposing @craig_riedel who is running as a Republican in Ohio's 9th District, bad-mouthing President Trump while simultaneously showcasing endorsements on his website from some of Trump's biggest supporters including Jim Jordan and Elise… pic.twitter.com/ivN1IP8XHn
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) December 8, 2023