J.R. Majewski, the Republican nominee for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, said on Friday that Republican establishment leaders are to blame for the GOP’s performance in the midterm elections this year, not former President Trump.
Majewski said in a post in the right-wing media outlet The National Pulse that House Republicans abandoned him and “left the campaign to die” before he lost to Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D) this week.
He also said corporate media is working to perpetuate a “myth” that Trump cost the GOP seats in Congress, adding that this is a “complete lie” and ignores that “McLeadership,” an apparent reference to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), set up Trump-backed candidates to fail.
Majewski said the local GOP shunned him during the primary and tried to prevent Trump from endorsing him. And he said the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) gave him only “passive” support and dragged its feet to help him.
Trump has received criticism in recent days over the GOP’s performance in the midterms, in which the party was hoping to make sweeping gains in Congress. But the party is likely to win only a narrow majority in the House and failed to flip the Senate.
GOP strategists and aides have blamed Trump for hurting the party’s chances and endorsing weak candidates.
Majewski said the NRCC assigned him a field director who demanded that they create and review his campaign budget, which left him dependent on the committee for all television and radio advertising.
Majewski said the NRCC also did not want him to talk about Trump and threatened to remove campaign funds if he did not follow its messaging.
He said he was instructed by the NRCC how to respond when The Associated Press reported that Majewski misrepresented his military service and he was never deployed to Afghanistan despite his claims.
Majewski said NRCC staff wrote a reply for him that he did not agree with, which the AP reported did not directly address questions about his service.
“The story didn’t have much impact locally, but it did nationally. What made the most impact was the fact that the NRCC left the campaign to die,” he said.
Majewski had said in a tweet on Wednesday that he would not blame anyone for his loss and instead would “reflect, adjust and adapt,” which he said is “what leaders do.”
He faced several controversies throughout his candidacy, including the AP report about his military service and his presence at the Capitol before the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, though he has said that he left the Capitol when the riot began.
The NRCC pulled ads for Majewski following the report. He said in his post that NRCC leadership has apologized to him, admitted that pulling the ads was a mistake and told him he could still win the race.
“In hindsight, I realize … all of this was just an effort to keep tabs on me,” he said.
Majewski said Trump held multiple rallies in Ohio and consistently invited him to attend and speak at them, trying to help him win.
“Donald Trump’s record speaks for itself,” he said. “And so does the McLeadership’s.”
The Hill has reached out to the NRCC for comment.
Updated on Nov. 14 at 9:30 a.m.