Trump Asks If Rand Paul Will 'Apologize' For Opposing Trump-Backed Candidate: 'Do You Think He Learned His Lesson?'

ToplineOn Thursday, former President Donald Trump ridiculed Senator Rand Paul (R.Ky.), for spending large on a U.S. House candidate in Ohio who lost against a Trump-endorsed candidate. This sent a clear message to Republicans to either remain in lock-step with Trump or risk inflaming the wrathful leader of their party.LEXINGTON (UNITED STATES) - 2019/11/04: Senator Rand Paul and President Donald J. Trump speak to... [+] supporters at the Make America Great Rally in Lexington. (Photo by Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket through Getty Images) SOPA Images/LightRocket through Getty ImagesThe Key FactsTrump speculated about whether Paul would apologize for supporting Ron Hood, an Ohio House member, over Mike Carey (a coal lobbyist), who won the GOP primary to succeed former Rep. Steve Stivers. Trump quickly seized on the fact that Hood was supported by super PACs and his allies, including PAC Protect Freedom, Americas Liberty, and PAC Protect Freedom. Trump claimed that Paul spent almost $1 million, even though it wasn't directly from him. This left Hood third. Trump asked of Paul: Do you think he learned? Trump is trying to assert his dominance over GOP post-presidency by backing challengers to Republicans who voted for his impeachment and threatening to hold primaries if Republicans pass an infrastructure bill. Forbes reached out to Paul's office for comment.Important BackgroundTrump has invested a lot of his post-presidential capital in the strength of his endorsement. This endorsement was notably shattered in a House election last month in Texas, where his endorsed candidate lost against another Republican. Trump reacted to the loss by claiming that now-Rep. Jake Ellzey, (R-Texas), won thanks to Democratic support, but still hailed it as a personal victory. He stated, "I won because we ended with a great Republican candidate."Big Number54%. This is the percentage of Republicans who believe Trump's endorsement increases their likelihood of voting for a candidate. 34% said it doesn't matter, while 6% said it makes it less likely. 73% of Republicans believe it would be good for America if Trump ran again.What to WatchTrump strongly indicated that he will run for re-election in 2024. He stated last month, "I absolutely know my answer and we are going to do very well. People are going to very happy."