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Jack Black's Tenacious D band cancels Australia tour after comments on Trump shooting

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Black and Gass of duo Tenacious D accept the award for Comeback of the Year at the fifth annual Golden Gods awards at Club Nokia in Los Angeles

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Hollywood & media deaths in 2024: photo gallery & obituaries, jack black cancels tenacious d tour, says he was “blindsided” by partner’s trump assassination comment; kyle gass “incredibly sorry” but dropped by agency.

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Tenacious D, Donald Trump

Jack Black has cancelled his latest Tenacious D tour and said that “all future creative plans” for the duo are on hold, following his partner Kyle Gass’ controversial on stage ‘joke’ about the weekend’s assassination attempt against Donald Trump .

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During a performance in Sydney on Sunday, Gass was asked to make a wish by his co-frontman, replying “Don’t miss Trump next time”. The jibe has attracted plenty of criticism, with an Australian senator demanding the comedy-rock   band be deported.

Gass himself took to instagram today to apologize for making the remark: “The line I improvised onstage Sunday night in Sydney was highly inappropriate, dangerous and a terrible mistake. I don’t condone violence of any kind, in any form, against anyone. What happened was a tragedy, and I’m incredibly sorry for my severe lack of judgement. I profoundly apologize to those I’ve let down and truly regret any pain I’ve caused.” However, the actor and performer was subsequently dropped by his rep Greene Talent.

The duo had another week of gigs in Australia and then were due to head to New Zealand. The show’s local promoter initially posted that tonight’s show was postponed but Black subsequently issued the above statement about the tour’s entire cancellation.

Tenacious D was also due to begin a U.S. tour in October with a sold-out show in newly minted GOP VP pick Sen. J.D. Vance’s state of Ohio. That is now also seemingly on ice.

We’re told by a source that information on “remaining tour dates and refunds will be provided at a later date.”

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Why did Jack Black cancel tour? What Tenacious D member said about Trump

seed band tour

Jack Black spoke out against his bandmember's comments and took it a step further by cancelling the rest of their tour.

During their Tenacious D performance on stage in Sydney, Australia, Kyle Gass was presented with a cake for his 64th birthday and Black asked him to make a wish. Gass responded by saying, "Don’t miss Trump next time.”

The comment was in response to the Saturday incident where a shooter attempted to assassinate former President Donald Trump as he spoke during his campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. Two people were killed, including the shooter, Thomas Matthew Crooks and a spectator, Corey Comperatore . Two others were injured.

Black has since said he was "blindsided" by his bandmate and the comment and has since said he was ending the Tenacious D tour, a comic rock duo.

"I would never condone hate speech or encourage political violence in any form," Black said in an Instagram social media post . "After much reflection, I no longer feel it is appropriate to continue the Tenacious D tour, and all future creative plans are on hold. I am grateful to the fans for their support and understanding."

The band had planned to do several U.S. tour dates in the fall, including a stop in State College, Pennsylvania in October.

Famous comedian, musician cancels rest of tour after bandmate’s comment on Trump assassination attempt

  • Published: Jul. 16, 2024, 11:37 a.m.

Tenacious D Trump

Kyle Gass and Jack Black of Tenacious D canceled the rest of the comedy rock duo's tour after Gass made a comment about the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump. Getty Images

SYDNEY, Australia – Comedy rock duo Tenacious D, which features actor Jack Black and Kyle Gass, has canceled the rest of its tour after Gass’ remarks about the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump.

While on stage in Sydney on Sunday, Gass was presented with a birthday cake and was told to make a wish.

“Don’t miss Trump next time,” Gass responded.

The day before, Trump was shot at a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania.

In an instagram post Tuesday, Black said he was blindsided by what was said at the show.

“... I would never condone hate speech or encourage political violence in any form,” Black said in a statement on Instagram . “After much reflection, I no longer feel it is appropriate to continue the Tenacious D tour, and all future creative plans are on hold. I am grateful to the fans for their support and understanding.”

Gass also apologized on Instagram .

“The line I improvised Sunday night in Sydney was highly inappropriate, dangerous and a terrible mistake,” he said. “I don’t condone violence in any kind, in any form, against anyone. What happened was a tragedy, and I’m incredibly sorry for my severe lack of judgment.”

The group’s “Spicy Meatball Tour” was supposed to continue Tuesday night in Newcastle, with more U.S. date this fall.

Their touring company, Frontier Touring, announced the cancellation on Instagram.

“Frontier Touring regret to advise that Tenacious D’s concert tonight at Newcastle Entertainment Centre has been postponed. Ticket holders are asked to hold onto their tickets until further information is available,” the company said.

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Did Tenacious D break up? Trump joke sparks questions about band's future

Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D walk off stage at a concert

American comedy rock duo Tenacious D have hit international headlines this week after member Kyle Gass made comments at a Sydney concert on Sunday night about the recent attempted assassination of former US president Donald Trump.

The rest of the band's sold-out Australian tour has been cancelled, disappointing their many fans who have waited 11 long years to see them back in our country.

We're here to unpack some key questions about the band and the current situation.

Who is Tenacious D?

Tenacious D are a Grammy-winning musical comedy duo comprising bankable Hollywood actor, comedian and musician Jack Black, and his friend and collaborator of more than 30 years, Kyle Gass.

The pair first met in the mid-1980s as performers in Californian theatre troupe the Actors' Gang and began writing music together. They debuted in 1994 as Tenacious D (named after a basketball commentary term: "tenacious defence"), splicing comedy and classic rock.

Black once described the band as "Simon & Garfunkel meets Black Sabbath", lampooning classic rock cliches with generous helpings of swearing, fart jokes, sexual and satanic silliness, and at least one memorable power ballad counselling to 'F**k Her Gently' .

Their 2001 self-titled debut album saw them perform with arena-sized acts including Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam and Tool.

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has regularly collaborated with the group, starring as Satan in the music video for their signature hit 'Tribute', and again in their 2006 film and accompanying second album, The Pick of Destiny.

Even when Jack Black's acting career took off in the 2000s — thanks to the success of films such as High Fidelity, School of Rock and Peter Jackson's King Kong reboot — his friendship with Gass endured.

Tenacious D's third album, The Rize of the Fenix, was a Top 10 chart hit in Australia, the US, UK, and across Europe. Its 2018 follow-up, Post-Apocalypto, served as the duo's fourth album and soundtrack to an animated series of the same name.

What happened at the Tenacious D concert?

The second show of Tenacious D's 'Spicy Meatball' Australian tour took place at the ICC Theatre in Sydney on Sunday night. It just so happened to also be Kyle Gass's 64th birthday.

At one point during the show, a robot brings a cake out on stage. Jack Black asks Gass to make a wish, to which Gass responds "Don't miss Trump next time", referencing the attempted assassination of former US President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania on the weekend.

The comments were captured on video and posted to social media, prompting a flurry of reactions.

Many found the comments abhorrent. Australian Senator Ralph Babet called for the band's immediate deportation and Australian ambassador to the US and former prime minister Kevin Rudd said it made him "physically sick" and that the band should "grow up and find a decent job".

What has the fallout been?

Yesterday afternoon, the band postponed their Newcastle show , just hours before it was due to begin.

"Frontier Touring regret to advise that Tenacious D's concert tonight at Newcastle Entertainment Centre has been postponed," a statement from the tour promoters read.

"Ticket holders are asked to hold onto their tickets until further information is available."

At the time, Frontier Touring told the ABC there was no further comment.

Hours later, Jack Black took to Instagram to make a statement distancing himself from Gass's comments and announcing that the remainder of the sold-out Australian tour would not go ahead.

"I was blindsided by what was said at the show on Sunday," he wrote. "I would never condone hate speech or encourage political violence in any form.

"After much reflection, I no longer feel it is appropriate to continue the Tenacious D tour, and all future creative plans are on hold. I am grateful to the fans for their support and understanding."

Gass then made his own statement, apologising for his off-the-cuff comments and the impact they had.

"The line I improvised onstage Sunday night in Sydney was highly inappropriate, dangerous and a terrible mistake," he wrote.

"I don't condone violence of any kind, in any form, against anyone. What happened was a tragedy, and I'm incredibly sorry for my severe lack of judgement. I profoundly apologize to those I've let down and truly regret any pain I've caused."

It might all be too late. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Gass has already been dropped by Greene Talent, the agency that represents him.

Some speculate that this could spell the end for Tenacious D, a group that often must compete for attention amid Jack Black's packed film schedule. 

One thing is for sure: they'll have some work ahead of them if they're to win back the sector of their support base who were disgusted by the comment.

Have Tenacious D been political in the past?

Their music has always prioritised absurdity, but publicly Black and Gass have leaned left in their politics. They have played benefit concerts for Barack Obama and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

In 2020, they teamed up with US nonprofit Rock The Vote, releasing an all-star cover of Rocky Horror Picture Show number 'Time Warp' encouraging American voters not to "step to the right".

The duo were also scheduled to play Rock The Vote concerts this October ahead of the US election. In light of recent events, it's unclear if those shows will go ahead.

Just last month, Jack Black publicly endorsed President Joe Biden at a celebrity fundraising event, hosted in Los Angeles by Hollywood elite George Clooney and Julia Roberts, which raised a reported $US30 million for Biden's campaign.

Dressed in "kick-ass American flag overalls" and a Biden T-shirt, Black joked about turning down several other events in order to appear.

"My President needs me! … and then [my manager] hit me with the big one, 'You have nothing to wear. Your good suit is at the cleaners'," he said at the event.

"When Democracy's at stake, Jack Black answers the call."

The band's self-titled 2001 debut closes with the track ' City Hall ', where Black and Gass comically invoke "all you motherf**kers in the streets" to rise up and riot to depose political leaders.

The punchline? The pair instate themselves as kings whose ill-informed decrees lead to internal squabbling.

Post-Apocalypto introduced a stronger thread of political satire to their musical comedy.

The setting for the 2018 animated series was a post-apocalyptic America ruled by Donald Trump Jr., depicted as a squalid dictator protecting The White House with a militia composed of Nazis and KKK members ( as heard in their song 'March' ).

In a 2019 interview with Californian radio station KLOS , the duo were asked what the biggest uncertainty about adding a political perspective was.

"I guess losing half of our fanbase," Gass responded. "I think whenever you stick your neck out there and try to say something important … It's a little scary."

Black added: "Whenever you take a stand, there's a certain amount of risk, but if you get the sack for it, then by the gods, you do what you know is right."

How is social media responding?

Reactions are divided, ranging from shock to vilification and disappointment from Australian fans who are missing out on Tenacious D's first shows here in 11 years.

An Instagram post from promoters Frontier Touring announcing the tour's cancellation features many calling the situation a "wild overreaction".

"He only said what we were all thinking. Serious over reaction," reads the top comment.

"I think the apology statement was needed but [I don't know] about cancelling the whole tour," reads another.

"How ridiculous. I have heard bands AND comedians say way worse," remarks another, while someone noted the irony of the tour title: "The meatball was too spicy".

But Tenacious D's Instagram account has been bombarded with condemnation of Gass's joke.

A video post promoting the duo's cover of Britney Spears hit '…Baby One More Time' on the red carpet for Kung Fu Panda 4 (which stars Black in the titular role) is filled with backlash.

"To wish violence on someone is SICK," reads one top comment.

"Disgraceful making pro-assassination comments. Will never listen to you again," reads another.

Over on X, fans have criticised Black for throwing Gass " under the bus " with his statement, speculating he is prioritising his acting career prospects over their friendship .

"I really did not think he was this much of a careerist that he would do this to his friend of 3 decades but I guess this is who he really is. Sad to see," one user wrote .

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Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D play guitars. Black holds up the devil horns sign with his fingers.

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Trump Picks His Running Mate, and Political Heir

Former president donald j. trump chose the 39-year-old senator j.d. vance of ohio as his vice-presidential nominee..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.” Today, on the first day of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump makes his choice of a running mate. We watched it unfold in real time from Milwaukee.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

It’s Tuesday, July 16.

Are you OK?

I’m getting phone interference.

Oh no, maybe that’s from your phone. There’s like 16 phones in this car.

I’ll start it.

OK. It is 9:35 AM on Monday morning, and we are driving into downtown Milwaukee to the headquarters of the Republican National Convention. And it’s day 1, the opening hours of what will be the Republican Party’s crowning of their nominee, former President Donald Trump. And the singular event that hangs over this entire convention is the one that none of us expected, which is the attempted assassination of the presumptive Republican nominee.

And the news is just flying at us this morning. We just got word that he’s going to be announcing his running mate today, his choice of a VP. So this is a pretty extraordinary day already before 10:00 AM, and we’re going to try to make sense of it all.

We just went through the first round of secret service asking to see our badges. We are now stopped at a giant metal pop-up wall. And in front of us, cars are being slowly and very thoroughly inspected by bomb-sniffing dogs and security teams.

Hi. You guys are good. You just have to get screened through the checkpoint.

Perfect. OK, thank you. Thanks.

Secret Service? Should I open the trunk?

— turn the engine off and pop the hood for me, please?

Oh, the front hood? How do I do that? We’re in a rental car. Here we go.

She’s got it. Look at her.

And also, don’t run into my barricade. People keep doing that even though it says stop on it, you know? Keep your eyes open, all righty? Let’s be safe, everybody.

Great. Thank you so much.

So we’re headed into deeper security.

— take off your sunglasses. Can you back up for me real quick?

Good. Good to go. Carlos?

Good to go. And —

Good to go. Thank you.

There wasn’t a single package inside that bag that they didn’t search. Hi.

Check in over here. Thank you guys for coming.

Hi, I can take whoever’s next.

Once we made it through all that security, we walked into the first official event of the day, a briefing for reporters from the Trump campaign about what this first day of the convention would look like.

So we’re inside a very big ballroom that has a podium and two flags set up next to it. Wisconsin, United States, there’s about 200 journalists in here, filling a quarter of the room and a lot of red-shirted RNC staffers and volunteers who are kind of corralling us. And we’re going to wait and see what they have to say.

But just as this briefing was about to begin, we were told that it was for planning purposes only and that we couldn’t use any of the audio from it.

I just want to summarize what we heard in this news conference. Essentially, what senior advisors to the Trump campaign just told us is that this day is going to be very action-packed. It is going to begin in the early afternoon with the official technical nomination by delegates of Trump as the Republican nominee. And then in the early afternoon, around 3 o’clock or so, the nomination of a vice presidential candidate will occur.

What that means is that sometime between now, 10:30 AM or so, and 3:00 PM, we will know the identity of who Trump’s running mate will be. And finally, we are going to lay eyes on Donald Trump himself at around 9:00 PM in the evening. And the crowd is going to go wild because it’s the first time many of them, many of us will have seen him since the assassination attempt. So it’s a really packed schedule filled with a giant piece of news in the middle, which is who Trump picked as his running mate.

Mike Bender.

To get inside Trump’s decision making, we turn to our colleague Mike Bender, a politics reporter at “The Times,” who’s been on the VP beat for the past few months.

OK, we just want to bug you for a minute about what is the status of the VP choice. Last time we talked to you, you told us that there were three top contenders — Doug Burgum, governor of North Dakota, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Ohio Senator JD Vance. So where do things sit here at 11:00 at noon on Monday?

Just hours before he’s actually supposed to make the announcement and nominate the running mate? I mean, I literally ran into a couple of sources who are with other VP contenders who are telling me that they haven’t received word one way or the other yet. I don’t think he’s told the person yet. I mean, we’re three hours from a nomination. I seriously do not think that Trump has actually made the formal offer yet.

We have to go — I think we have to just, like, explain that to people. We’re three hours from the necessary public disclosure of this information, and it’s not clear the decision’s been made.

Yeah, no, it’s amazing. I mean, Trump is known to vacillate over big decisions. He did almost the same thing back in 2016 when he picked Mike Pence. He decided to pick Mike Pence and then spent the night before their first news conference together, complaining to aides that he had made the wrong choice, wondering if he could pick someone differently. My reporting over the last week has been that he’s been going through similar iterations on this decision.

So we’re going to lightly stalk you until we get the news. And hopefully, when we get the news, you can break it to us. Or it will be broken over our heads, and then we’ll talk about it. And we’ll make sense of it.

Yeah, definitely. I am also hoping to be the first to know. And if I’m the first to know, you guys will be the second to know.

OK thank you, Michael.

Yeah. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Just as we finished talking to Mike, he made a phone call.

Hey. You don’t think — why don’t you think it’s Marco? He called? Like, just now? OK, I just saw some folks outside for another contender who haven’t heard anything yet. So I mean, and that was 30 minutes ago. So I’m wondering if it’s happening now. No, I didn’t see that. OK. OK. OK. Thanks, bye.

So can you just tell us about that phone call you had?

Yeah, yeah, definitely. This was someone who is very close with one of the VP contenders, one of the final three. This contender just received a call from Trump’s team saying he’s not the pick.

Soon enough, Mike confirmed that Marco Rubio had been crossed off the VP list, and that Rubio wasn’t the only VP contender to receive that call.

So it’s 1:30 PM, and this is a little orthodox, but I’m peeking over the shoulder of my colleague Mike Bender. And I can see that he’s writing the following. Both Doug Burgum and Marco Rubio have been told that they are not Trump’s VP choice. So in real time, assuming that this is right, we’re left thinking that the choice is either JD Vance or some wildcard person who we haven’t even thought of.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to begin a very important part of our program. I would like to ask that the aisles be cleared and the delegates please take their seats. Thank you.

In the meantime, the official business of this convention began. The nomination of Trump as the Republican nominee.

Michael, tell me what’s happening.

OK. So at this point, 2:00 PM, the roll call of delegates is underway on the floor of the Convention Hall.

West Virginia, 32 delegates.

So what’s happening right now is that the delegates from each state are publicly pledging their support to Donald Trump. And the delegates from each state represent the outcome of the primary vote that happened many, many months ago. So like right now, West Virginia’s designated speaker with a red hard hat on, is saying, from the great state of West Virginia —

And to cast those 32 votes for our former and future president, Donald J. Trump!

— we are pledging our 32 delegates to Donald Trump, and on and on and on it will go. And so this is a formality, adding up all the delegates from all the states. But it’s actually a technically required component of Donald Trump becoming and accepting his party’s nomination. And Trump will become the official nominee when 1,215 delegates in this room have pledged their support to him, which will probably be in about 30 minutes.

I stand before you today on behalf of the great state of New Hampshire.

And after Trump is nominated, this entire exercise happens all over again for his running mate whose identity we still don’t know. So that’s where a lot of the suspense of this moment is, not in the obvious fact that Donald Trump is about to be nominated, but that everyone in this room is about to nominate a running mate that they don’t know the identity of, that we don’t know the identity of. And we have to know the identity of it before it happens.

And all of a sudden, after not knowing how or when we would learn Trump’s choice, we finally do. And it’s delivered in classic Trump fashion.

So I’ve just seen on Truth Social that Trump has announced his VP pick, and it is JD Vance of Ohio.

OK. “Daily” editor Rachel Quester breaking the news that it’s Vance, which we kind of thought it would be, but now we know.

After the break, Vance’s nomination and why Trump picked him.

We’ll be right back.

OK, so we’re walking to the Convention Hall. It’s a bit of a trek. It’s very hot outside and blazingly bright. And we are now entering the media doorway.

Hi. How are you? Thank you.

Where are you all trying to get?

To the floor.

To the floor? To the floor?

OK. Just right out there and then somebody on the direction.

Around 3:30 or so, we walked out onto the convention floor just as Vance was being nominated as Trump’s running mate.

USA! USA! USA!

All right, time for a little convention business here. The question is on the motion that Senator JD Vance be nominated by acclamation —

This room is about to complete the nomination of Vance as VP.

All those opposed signify by saying no. In the opinion of the chair, the “ayes” have it, and the motion is adopted. Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.

And just to give you a little bit of a sense of the feel of the room, JD Vance is smiling really widely. He’s leaning back. He’s laughing. Crowd is chanting JD, JD. And he seems a little in awe of the moment.

I am proud to announce that Senator JD Vance has the overwhelming support of this convention to be the next vice president of the United states.

And that’s that. JD Vance, the vice presidential nominee. We got to get out of here.

The chair is pleased —

When that was over, we headed back to where Mike Bender was working to talk to him about Trump’s choice.

So welcome to “The Daily” studio here in Milwaukee.

Can you close this door?

You can shut that, yeah. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Mike, you’re ready?

So if you believe that Donald Trump made this decision, as we think he did kind of the last minute, even if he’d been thinking about it for a long time, what’s your understanding of why he chose JD Vance?

I think Trump is making this pick on who he thinks gives him the best chance to win in November. He announced this decision in a Truth Social post and mentioned a couple of key states in that statement, essentially saying that he thinks Vance can help him win in Pennsylvania, in Michigan, Wisconsin. These are essential states for victory in November, both for Trump and President Biden. Trump won them in 2016 but lost to Biden in those same states in 2020.

Hm! He’s very openly saying, I have made a strategic choice. What’s interesting about that, Mike, is that in our conversation a couple of weeks ago when we talked about who Trump was looking at closely, you had said that he wasn’t thinking about these traditional questions of, Does my VP win me X state, Y state? You know, he was engaging in questions of personal rapport. And he got along really well with Doug Burgum.

So clearly, the strategic question became front of mind for Trump. And I just want to understand, Was there something in the race that changed that made him suddenly think about this or what?

Well, well, well, look at “The Daily” fact-checking its reporters here on air. Well, you’re not wrong either, Michael. There has been a shift in the last few weeks with Trump. He’s gone from talking about finding a running mate who could help him govern, to finding a running mate who can help him govern and someone who can help him win.

And when he ran the analysis here, when he looked at the different set of candidates he has, his ultimate decision was that JD Vance is the one who can do that. Vance will take him deeper into the states where he needs to win in the Midwest and appeal directly to the working-class, blue-collar voters he needs to capture these battlegrounds.

Explain exactly why he thinks JD Vance helps him win those three or so key states? What is it about Vance’s story that maps on to that strategy?

The answer is both biographical and rooted in policy. Vance is a child of Appalachia. He grew up in a poor, working-class neighborhood in Ohio. He served in the military. And when he decided to run for his first elected office in 2022, he was very far right on a lot of issues. He is one of the most staunch anti-abortion voices in the Senate right now. He’s an economic populist, the sort of anti-trade isolationist.

He was one of the first voices urging the Senate to vote against aid for Ukraine at a time where his party leaders were supporting that. So for Trump, when it comes to selling the idea of Trumpism and MAGA-ism, JD Vance is a very effective communicator for him, particularly in a crucial area of the country, that if Trump wins some of these Midwestern states could mean the end of Biden as president.

Got it. So we should see this decision as Trump picking someone who is ideologically extremely aligned with him, perhaps even a little further to the right than Trump, an issue like abortion, and from and of the place in the country that Trump needs to win, the Midwest, Appalachia. And that combination means, for Trump, Vance.

Yeah, exactly. I think it’s also helpful to put this in the context of the other contenders.

Vance is not bringing a new piece of the puzzle to Trumpism. Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida, would have been a Spanish-speaking advocate who may appeal more to Latinos. Governor Doug Burgum, from North Dakota, could have helped settle down that pro-business Republicans who are nervous about Trump’s unpredictability. Trump is sort of signaling here that he’s not interested in adding to the party. He doesn’t want to make the tent bigger. He’s doubling down on this sort of white working-class, pro-MAGA piece of the party that he sees not just as a way to win in November, but very clearly the path for the party in the future.

Of all the candidates Trump was thinking about for VP — and we’ve talked about this with you — they went on a journey, right, from Trump skeptic to Trump supporter. But JD Vance’s journey stood out because he was so unstinting in his criticism of Trump. When Trump first entered the political scene back in 2016, I remember interviewing Vance and talking to him about this stuff. I mean, he compared Trump to Hitler. He called Trump the opioid of the masses. He suggested Trump was a con man. That’s a lot to overcome, but he did.

But he did. I mean, this is the most stunning 180 degree political flip-flop of our time. To go from saying the sort of things that you just brought up to now being chosen as his most trusted advisor, a running mate, a number 2, who will serve as president if something should happen to him, is extraordinary. I mean, you may have to go back to post-revolutionary times when we used to pick vice presidents by who came in second place to find a vice president who has said such searing criticisms of a president.

Fascinating. And ultimately, what’s your understanding of why Trump could get past that, somebody who is not very good at accepting criticism?

No, that’s true. But as much as Trump hates criticism for his own actions and deeds, he loves the redemption narrative. And he loves being asked for forgiveness. And JD Vance has spent several years seeking Trump’s approval by going on television, making nice with all of the right-wing websites and media in order to show how much he has changed his mind on Trump, and maybe most effectively, blame the media.

That point has been proven by Vance himself, who has explained his new thinking, his evolution on Trump by saying he was lied to by a media narrative about Trump. And now that he’s gotten to know Trump and now that he’s seen him, Trump in action as president, he has changed his mind.

Right. And it sounds like he never really needed to change his mind about some of the fundamental ideas of Trumpism. He had to change his mind about Trump. He seems always to have been fundamentally aligned with the ideas that Trump embraces — economic populism, some pretty far-right social positions. He needed to change his mind on the man, not the message.

Yeah, it was very personal, I think, for both Trump and Vance in this instance. Again, Vance is someone who grew up in rural Ohio, whose family is from Appalachia, saw some of the things that Trump has railed against when it comes to manufacturing jobs that are being shipped overseas, you know, these sort of pillars and institutions of society that have failed to uphold their end of the bargain when it comes to working-class, blue-collar, small-town Americans like Vance is.

If you are the Democrats right now, Mike, and you’re absorbing this news, where do you see the greatest vulnerabilities are going to lie for Trump now picking Vance?

Democrats are definitely going to use Vance’s old words against him, this sort of library of video clips and audio interviews of Vance going after Trump. But Democrats will also seize on Vance as an extremist, whether that’s his ardent abortion view and support for a national ban and his willingness to do what his predecessor, Mike Pence, wouldn’t. Vance has been on record already saying that he would have blocked the certification of the 2020 result, and that would have helped overturn that election.

Right. So you’re saying one simple way that the Biden ticket can go after Vance is by saying that you will enable Trump to break the law, overturn the election. We should expect that.

Yeah, I think so. I mean, looking back on what happened after 2020, the system worked because there was a lot of people around Trump who maybe they weren’t guardrails, but maybe more speed bumps. And there’s no indication that Vance has any willingness to play that role in the next Trump administration.

In that vein, it was pretty widely noted that in the hours after the attempted assassination of Donald Trump, we saw JD Vance come out with a statement. It was the most strongly worded of anyone seeking to be his VP. And it had some factual problems. Here’s what he said. He said, “Today, the attempted assassination is not just some isolated incident. The central premise of the Biden campaign is that President Donald Trump is an authoritarian fascist who must be stopped at all costs. That rhetoric led directly to President Trump’s attempted assassination.” We should say. There’s no evidence that that’s true. We don’t know the motivations of the shooter. We don’t know that he consumed any of that rhetoric or that Vance is even characterizing it correctly. So what should we make of the fact that Trump chose that running mate who made that statement in this moment?

I think Vance in a lot of ways kind of embodies the id of Trump and that instinct to fight. And even though these sort of manufactured statements from the campaign are calling for unity and calling for peace, what Trump really wants —

Since the attempted assassination, right.

That’s right. What Trump really wants is someone who is going to keep fighting. You know, factual or not, I think this shows the passion and the energy Trump was looking in at running mate, valuing that interest in fighting more than —

Interest in unity and peace.

Yeah, or facts on the ground.

Right. I want to end, Mike, with something you hinted at earlier, which is when you said that Trump is looking to Vance to set a path for the future of the Republican Party. What is that path with Vance as number 2?

Vance is only 39 years old. He’s barely old enough to be president.

Right, 35 is the requirement.

Exactly. So he’s obviously going to be viewed very much as the heir apparent for Trumpism. Trump knows this. And the signal it’s sending to everyone, not just in the party but the rest of the country, is that any remnants of a debate about whether this party snaps back to its sort of pro-business establishment culture —

Pre-Trump era.

— the pre-Trump era is exactly that. It’s a pre-Trump era. It’s over for Republicans. And when it’s not Trump, it’s going to be JD Vance or someone exactly like him.

Right. In other words, Trumpism is here to stay. It is the Republican Party now that I’ve chosen JD Vance.

There’s no going back anymore, Michael.

Thank you, Mike. This is really helpful. I really appreciate it.

Thank you for having me. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Are you guys from — are you guys from Michigan?

We make “The Daily” podcast.

Back at the Convention Hall.

We wanted to ask folks from all the big swing states about the selection of JD Vance about an hour ago and what you make of that decision, and if you think it’s going to help Trump win this state.

Absolutely. Look, I think the key thing in the platform is that it is dedicated to the forgotten men and women, and that is the blue-collar workers in the flyover states. JD Vance gets that.

It was clear that Republican delegates saw JD Vance as helping Trump win those key Midwestern states that will be essential to Trump winning in November.

So if Donald Trump wins Pennsylvania, which we’re going to make damn sure he does, we’re going to work our asses off.

You think that Vance helps them do that?

And just to make sure — I want to understand why.

Because JD Vance is like the common man. He’s like the common guy.

And that like Trump, they do see Vance as the future of Trumpism.

And the other nice thing is he’s young. He’s 39 years old

Why’s that matter?

It’s good to have somebody young with somebody that’s old in case, God forbid, something ever happens to Trump.

In other words, you already see him as the successor, the inheritor of Trump’s message and the party in MAGA?

Well, yeah, he’s going to have to carry the mantle. That’s probably what’s going to end up happening. Trump is only there for four years. You need somebody afterwards for the next eight. You need somebody for the next eight after that.

OK, can I — [MUSIC PLAYING]

And you’re from Wisconsin. You’re a delegate from Wisconsin. This is important. Trump mentioned Wisconsin in announcing Vance. Why was Vance your number one choice?

I think he brings youth to the field, to the vice president. And I looked at the upcoming years in ‘28, what’ll happen. And I think he was the man that can do it in ‘28 for the Republican Party.

You’re already looking forward to the next race?

Yes, very much so.

Here’s what else you need to know today. In a stunning decision, the judge overseeing Trump’s classified documents case threw out all the charges against him. In the process, she rejected what was widely seen as the strongest federal charges against the former president. Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, ruled that the special counsel who filed the charges had been given his job in violation of the Constitution.

That finding flew in the face of previous court decisions reaching back decades. In response, the Department of Justice said that it plans to appeal Cannon’s ruling.

Today’s episode was produced by Carlos Prieto, Clare Toeniskoetter, Jessica Cheung, Mooj Zadie, Eric Krupke, and Rikki Novetsky. It was edited by Brendan Klinkenberg and Rachel Quester, with help from Paige Cowan.

Contains original music by Dan Powell, Elisheba Ittoop and Marion Lozano, and was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.

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  • July 17, 2024   •   25:48 The Surprise Ending to the Mar-a-Lago Documents Case
  • July 16, 2024   •   28:27 Trump Picks His Running Mate, and Political Heir
  • July 15, 2024   •   31:26 The Attempted Assassination of Donald Trump
  • July 14, 2024 The Sunday Read: ‘A Republican Election Clerk vs. Trump Die-Hards in a World of Lies’
  • July 12, 2024   •   27:43 Loving Their Pets to Debt
  • July 11, 2024   •   35:40 72 Hours Inside Biden’s Campaign to Save His Candidacy
  • July 10, 2024   •   32:25 Why Britain Just Ended 14 Years of Conservative Rule
  • July 9, 2024   •   27:33 The Era of Killer Robots Is Here
  • July 8, 2024   •   26:17 The Supreme Court Is Not Done Remaking America
  • July 5, 2024   •   26:50 How Bad Is Drinking for You, Really?
  • July 4, 2024   •   26:12 Biden’s Slipping Support
  • July 3, 2024   •   32:01 The American Journalist on Trial in Russia

Hosted by Michael Barbaro

Featuring Michael C. Bender

Produced by Carlos Prieto ,  Clare Toeniskoetter ,  Jessica Cheung ,  Mooj Zadie ,  Eric Krupke and Rikki Novetsky

Edited by Brendan Klinkenberg and Rachel Quester

With Paige Cowett

Original music by Dan Powell ,  Elisheba Ittoop ,  Marion Lozano and Corey Schreppel

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

Listen and follow The Daily Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | YouTube

On the first day of the Republican National Convention, Donald J. Trump chose his running mate: Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio.

We watched the process unfold in real time in Milwaukee.

Michael C. Bender, who covers Mr. Trump and his movement for The Times, takes us through the day.

On today’s episode

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Michael C. Bender , a political correspondent covering Donald J. Trump and his Make America Great Again movement for The New York Times.

J.D. Vance is standing in a crowd of people with a big smile on his face and a pale blue tie. The crowd are holding up Trump-signs.

Background reading

What to know about J.D. Vance , Mr. Trump’s running mate.

Mr. Trump’s decision to pick Mr. Vance signals concern for the future of his MAGA movement.

There are a lot of ways to listen to The Daily. Here’s how.

We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Michael Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson, Nina Lassam and Nick Pitman.

Michael C. Bender is a Times political correspondent covering Donald J. Trump, the Make America Great Again movement and other federal and state elections. More about Michael C. Bender

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  22. Trump Picks His Running Mate, and Political Heir

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