These prominent Republicans are speaking out against Trump’s 2024 run
Former President Trump’s announcement last week that he’ll run for the White House a third time has divided the Republican party.
While some of his staunchest supporters in Congress celebrated the announcement, other key GOP figures are distancing themselves from the campaign and others are saying outright that they won’t vote for Trump again.
Here are the Republicans publicly pulling away from — and even speaking out against — Trump’s 2024 reelection run:
Direct critics and ‘Never-again Trumpers’
Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
In this Oct. 17, 2018 photo, then-U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks during a campaign event in Hanover, N.J.
Ryan on Sunday said the GOP will “probably lose the White House with Trump,” citing the party’s loss of the House in 2018 and both the Senate and presidency in 2020.
“And if there’s someone not named Trump, my guess is we win the White House,” Ryan told co-anchor Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week.”
The former Speaker called himself a “Never-Again-Trumper.”
Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears
Then-candidate for Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears (R) listens to Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin during a rally in Fredericksburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.
Sears said earlier this month, days before Trump’s 2024 announcement, that she wouldn’t support the former president if he ran for reelection a third time.
“I could not support him. I just couldn’t,” the Virginia lieutenant governor told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto, adding that voters have sent a “very clear message” for Trump to pull back.
“A true leader understands when they have become a liability. A true leader understands that it’s time to step off the stage,” Sears said.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduces United States Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington.
Cassidy was one of just seven Republicans in the upper chamber who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial. He said last year that he wouldn’t back Trump in a 2024 bid.
“President Trump is the first president, in the Republican side at least, to lose the House, the Senate and the presidency in four years,” Cassidy told Axios last fall.
“But it’s clear you ain’t voting for him,” Axios’s Mike Allen said to Cassidy.
“I’m not,” the senator responded.
Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
Then-U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, speaks during a joint news conference in presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.
Asked earlier this year whether he would vote for Trump in a 2024 run, Esper gave a categorical no.
“No, and I’ll tell you why. Because in my view, any elected leader needs to meet some basic criteria: they need to be able to put country over self, they need to have a certain amount of integrity and principle, they need to be able to reach across the aisle and bring people together and unite the country. Look, Donald Trump doesn’t meet those marks for me,” Esper said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” back in May.
Esper said on “CNN This Morning” last week that Trump is “unfit for office” and that the GOP should move on to another generation of candidates.
Former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin
White House director of communications Alyssa Farah speaks with reporters at the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Washington.
“Donald Trump is wholly unfit for office and a clear and present danger to democracy. Republicans, please take him on,” Griffin said on Twitter on the day of Trump’s announcement.
The former Trump White House communications director became critical of Trump after leaving the administration.
Farah Griffin told CNN last year that Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence (R) was “uniquely positioned” to challenge Trump in 2024 and could “put up a formidable fight” if the two ran against each other.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R)
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem answers a question while taking part in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
The South Dakota governor just won her second gubernatorial term but has been mentioned among a handful of GOP governors who could get in the ring with Trump in 2024.
“If we narrow our focus there, then we’re not talking to every single American. Our job is not just to talk to people who love Trump or hate Trump. Our job is to talk to every single American,” Noem told The New York Times.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.)
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Federal sentencing for crack and powder cocaine, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
Hutchinson said after Trump’s 2024 announcement last week that there are “better choices” for the GOP to pursue in the next presidential election.
“Trump is correct on Biden’s failures, but his self-indulging message promoting anger has not changed. It didn’t work in 2022 and won’t work in 2024. There are better choices,” Hutchinson said on Twitter.
The Arkansas governor told “CNN This Morning” host Kaitlan Collins last week that he is “seriously considering” his own 2024 bid and said the party should progress past Trump.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) speaks with reporters hours after former President Donald Trump rescinded his endorsement of Brooks in Alabama’s Republican primary for Senate, dealing a major blow to the congressman’s campaign, Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in Hueytown, Ala.
“It would be a bad mistake for the Republicans to have Donald Trump as their nominee in 2024,” Brooks told the Alabama outlet AL.com in an interview published last week.
The Alabama congressman, who lost to Trump-backed Katie Britt in the state’s Senate GOP primary runoff earlier this year, called Trump “dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude” and said the former president alienates independents and Republicans.
Trump withdrew his backing of Brooks after the lawmaker moved away from Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, calling Brooks “woke” and disloyal.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.)
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talks to reporters, April, 4, 2022.
Hogan indirectly hit at Trump on the day of the former president’s 2024 announcement, calling on the GOP to “turn the page.”
“Since 2016, Republicans have done nothing but lose, and Republican voters are paying the price for it. Doubling down on losing isn’t just foolish. It’s a gift to the Democrats. It is time to turn the page,” Hogan said on Twitter.
Hogan last week blamed Trump for the GOP’s disappointing midterm results. The two-term Maryland governor is yet another GOP figure rumored as a possible 2024 challenger for the former president.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses an audience at a periodic “Politics and Eggs” gathering at Saint Anselm College, in Manchester, N.H., Sept. 20, 2022.
“We need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking forward, not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter after Trump made his 2024 announcement.
The comment didn’t name the former president but came after Trump repeatedly referred to himself as a “victim” during the much-anticipated speech.
Pompeo also appeared to hit Trump last week over the 2016 and 2020 campaign line that the GOP would get “tired of winning” amid his promised successes.
“We were told we’d get tired of winning. But I’m tired of losing. And so are most Republicans,” he tweeted.
Pompeo has also been mentioned as a possible 2024 contender.
Former Vice President Mike Pence
Former Vice President Mike Pence sits for an interview with the Associated Press, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in New York.
During his ongoing media tour to promote his new book, the former vice president has made repeated digs at his former boss.
ABC’s David Muir asked Pence earlier this week if Trump should ever be president again.
“David, I think that’s up to the American people,” Pence responded. “But I think we’ll have better choices in the future.”
“People in this country actually get along pretty well once you get out of politics,” Pence told Muir. “And I think they want to see their national leader start to reflect that same, that same compassion and generosity of spirit. And I think, so in the days ahead, I think there will be better choices.”