Former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign recently exposed Indiana Republican Senate contender John Rust for using the former president’s likeness to attack his Trump-endorsed challenger.
Rust, who has consistently voted Democrat in past elections, released a campaign advertisement using Trump to attack Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), endorsed by the former president in the race.
The commercial, seen on Rust’s account on X, formerly known as Twitter, features Rust showing images of Trump as he compares himself to the former president while trashing Banks, saying the Indiana congresswoman doesn’t align with Trump.
I proudly voted for President Trump in 2016 and 2020. In 2024 I’ll proudly vote for President Donald Trump once again. pic.twitter.com/z7Q1cOYGif
— John Rust (@JohnRust_IN) January 22, 2024
Rust’s comments come after the former president endorsed Banks in Indiana’s Senate race.
Banks previously served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) in the House and has been a staunch Trump ally in Congress, according to Breitbart News.
When asked by Breitbart News to respond to Rust’s advertisement, a Trump campaign spokesman said the Senate hopeful should “cease and desist” from using the former president in future commercials. The spokesman reiterated Trump’s endorsement of Banks in the race.
“President Trump’s friend, Jim Banks, is the only candidate in this race endorsed by President Trump,” the spokesman told the outlet. “Any other candidate using President Trump’s name, image, or likeness to purposely deceive voters must immediately cease and desist.”
“President Trump looks forward to working with a future Senator Banks in 2025 to accomplish incredible things for the Great State of Indiana and our country,” the spokesman added.
Backs received Trump’s endorsement on Feb. 1, 2023. The Indiana lawmaker is running for the Senate seat that Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) will soon vacate because he is running for governor of Indiana.
The former president’s backing of Banks in the race scared off potential challengers, such as former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R).
Rust is the heir to Rose Acre Farms, which is an egg empire in Indiana that spiraled into controversy during the 1970s and 80s when two of its employees were murdered.
Breitbart News reported that Rust had been a longtime Democrat before filing to run in Indiana’s Senate GOP primary on July 1, 2023.