Republicans spurned by Trump in primaries still embrace him

Republicans who missed out on Donald Trump’s coveted endorsements are grasping for ways to tie themselves to the former president and his political movement, betting his  message will prove more powerful in contentious primary races than the man himself.

The strategy is playing out in GOP primaries across the country, including in South Carolina, where Trump last week endorsed Republican Katie Arrington’s challenge to Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), a once-loyal ally who drew the former president’s ire by criticizing him in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Mace, a first-term congresswoman who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign, responded by filming a video of herself praising the former president and touting her support for him outside of Trump Tower in New York City.

Mace’s video underscores the conundrum that several Republicans are facing: how to use Trump’s message to appeal to Trump’s voters, without the backing of Trump himself.