MEDINA, Ohio – Brad Parscale wasn’t at the Thirsty Cowboy to party.
Donald Trump’s former campaign manager was at the bar on Saturday on business – and his company was Jim Renacci, a former GOP congressman running to overthrow Republican Governor Mike DeWine in 2022.
This second act for Parscale, who is credited with building Trump’s digital operation in 2016 before a messy fall, is played here in suburban Ohio with a long-time wealthy contestant at a mall bar.
“Other than Trump, this is the only race I’ve been involved in day-to-day operations,” Parscale told HuffPost at a local GOP rally. which featured a far-right provocateur Scott Presler.
Standing at 6ft 8in and wearing blue ostrich skin cowboy boots, Parscale couldn’t help but stand out in the crowd. But he’s more than happy to pose for a selfie or talk about Trump, who has won Ohio twice and many people at these events hope to see again in the White House.
“We need people like Trump in 2024,” said Renacci, a candidate trying to sidetrack GOP support from DeWine due to backlash to COVID-19 security measures. “We need people who are disruptors who will change lanes. “
Parscale, after relaunch its political consulting firm and trying to start a new political data business, is apparently all on Renacci, who lost a Senate battle to Democrat Sherrod Brown in 2018. Parscale said he was renting a house in the northeast of the United States. ‘Ohio, not far from Renacci.
Renacci’s most recent campaign finance disclosure doesn’t say how much he pays Parscale, but he has money to burn: Renacci was previously classified as one of the richest members of the House in 2017 by OpenSecrets, a bipartisan nonprofit that tracks money in US politics.
“I am from the Midwest. Kansas. It’s good here, I like it, ”said Parscale, who wore jeans and a gray t-shirt at a bar that claims to have the only mechanical bull in the area.. “It’s also a good opportunity to really test the [political data] software I developed – Core – for six years.
At an event where the local GOP was handing out “Trump 2024” T-shirts like candy, Parscale had nothing but praise for his former boss, who retrograde him as campaign manager in July 2020 after a disastrous rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the meager participation would have mad Asset.
Parscale finally left the campaign less than two months before the presidential election, shortly after his wife called police to their Florida home, saying he was behaving erratically. Candice Parscale tell the police that her husband had brandished a gun and threatened to hurt himself. She also said he had been violent towards her in the previous weeks.
Before being ousted, the campaign operation under Parscale was criticized for blow money on luxury cars and a $ 10 million Super Bowl ad. Its companies have also benefited directly – to the tune of $ 39 million since 2017, according to the Associated Press.
“As I have always said, there is only one person with a higher identity name than Trump – Jesus.”
– Brad Parscale, former campaign manager for Donald Trump
But at least publicly, Parscale doesn’t seem to blame his ex-boss.
“He’s still loved,” Parscale said. “He will be a key figure in Republican politics for decades to come, just as Reagan still is. He will be the leader until there is another, and that may never be enough. It is the phenomenon of phenomena. As I have always said, there is only one person with a higher identity name than Trump – Jesus. “
Maureen Collins, a volunteer political activist at the GOP rally, said she would “absolutely” vote for Trump again and asked if President Joe Biden was legitimately elected (despite no evidence he was not) .
“[Trump] had tens of thousands of people at its gatherings. There was a rally Kamala Harris and Joe Biden had in Arizona before the election – no one came! Collins said, referring to the drive-through gatherings that were limited during the pandemic. “You mean that this man, who attracts tens of thousands of people who love and cheer him, was defeated by this jerk? This does not happen.
Parscale isn’t the only character in Trump’s orbit who has been hired by candidates hoping to replicate his appeal with the GOP base – or score a approval meeting at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. Kimberly Guilfoyle, former Trump campaign manager and girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., is the national president of the 2022 campaign of former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens in the Senate. Kellyanne Conway, who was also a campaign manager for Trump, is now a senior advisor to Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno.
It’s not clear Trump’s approval is more likely for these candidates – including Renacci, whom Trump backed in 2018 after he left the race for governor for a candidacy for the Senate. Trump has yet to approve any of these 2022 contests.
Before settling in Ohio, Parscale spent time in California with Republican Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympian turned reality TV star who ran for office for recall Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. Despite her identity name – and help from Parscale – Jenner only won 1% of the vote. And Trump ended up staying out of that race, which GOP leader Larry Elder ultimately lost.
“Caitlyn for California” paid $ 67,000 to Parscale’s political consultancy firm for its services, according to its financial information for July, including a $ 1,800 dinner at the Nobu Celebrity Hotspot.
“I was there for a month and a half. I helped her hire people. She was a friend of mine, ”said Parscale, who first met Jenner at a Starbucks in Lisbon, Portugal. “I think it’s good to increase the size of the tent. I think we really believe in personal freedom as the Republican Party, and we should believe in people’s freedom of choice. “
“And, you know, you can judge for what it is – I still think it was a good thing for her to come forward as the first transgender Republican,” he added.
When it comes to Trump’s 2024 plans, Parscale has no particular idea.
“He decides,” Parscale said. “I’ve said it publicly a few times already – tweeted it – I can’t see how it doesn’t run.”
Tom Weyand, a media consultant who works with Renacci, summarized what is on the GOP’s agenda for the next election cycles.
“Today we’re going to take over Ohio in the form of our school board and city council seats, and hopefully bring President Trump back in 2024,” Weyand said.