Republicans were divided when ex-President Trump announced last week that he would run for the White House for a third time.
While some of his most staunch supporters in Congress celebrated the announcements, other key GOP figures have distanced themselves from the campaign and others are outspoken that they will not vote for Trump again.
Here are the Republicans who are publicly backing away from — and even opposing — Trump’s 2024 re-election run:
Direct Critics and “Never Again Trumpers”
Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
Ryan said Sunday the GOP is “likely to lose the White House with Trump,” citing the party’s loss of the House in 2018 and both the Senate and the presidency in 2020.
“And if there’s someone whose name isn’t Trump, we probably win the White House,” Ryan told co-host Jonathan Karl on ABC’s This Week.
The former speaker described himself as a “never-again-trumper”.
Virginia Lt. gov. Winsome Sears
Sears said earlier this month, days before Trump’s 2024 announcement, that she would not support the former president if he ran for re-election a third time.
“I couldn’t support him. I just couldn’t,” the Virginia lieutenant governor told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, adding that voters had sent a “very clear message” for Trump to back down.
“A true leader understands when he has become a liability. A true leader understands it’s time to step off the stage,” Sears said.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)
Cassidy was one of only seven Republicans in the upper house to vote to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial. He said last year that he would not support Trump’s bid for 2024.
“President Trump is the first president, at least on the Republican side, to lose the House, Senate and presidency in four years,” Cassidy told Axios last fall.
“But it’s clear you’re not voting for him,” Axios’ Mike Allen told Cassidy.
“I’m not,” the senator replied.
Earlier this month, Cassidy told NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd that the next GOP presidential nominee “will look to the future, not the past.”
Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
When asked earlier this year if he would vote for Trump in a 2024 campaign, Esper categorically said no.
“No, and I’ll tell you why. Because in my opinion, every elected leader has to meet some basic criteria: they have to be able to put the country above themselves, they have to have a certain level of integrity and principle, they have to be able to walk across the aisle grab and bring bring people together and unite the country. Look, Donald Trump doesn’t meet those criteria for me,” Esper said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in May.
Esper said on CNN This Morning last week that Trump was “unfit for office” and that the GOP should move on to a different generation of candidates.
Former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin
“Donald Trump is totally unfit for office and a clear and present threat to democracy. Republicans, please take him in,” Griffin said on Twitter on the day of Trump’s announcement.
The former Trump White House communications director has been critical of Trump after leaving the government.
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 tremendous battle” if the two went head-to-head.
Kristi Noem, Gov. of South Dakota (R)
Noem, who has been supported by Trump in her re-election cycle in this year’s midterms, said last week that Trump is not offering the GOP “the best chance” in the next presidential election cycle.
The South Dakota governor has just won her second term as governor, but has been mentioned among a handful of GOP governors who could step into the ring with Trump in 2024.
“If we narrow our focus on that, we’re not talking to every single American. Our job isn’t just to talk to people who love or hate Trump. Our job is to talk to every single American,” Noem told the New York Times.
Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.)
Hutchinson said after Trump’s 2024 announcement last week that there were “better choices” for the GOP in the next presidential election.
“Trump is right about Biden’s failure, but his smug message encouraging anger hasn’t changed. It didn’t work in 2022 and won’t work in 2024. There are better options,” Hutchinson said said on Twitter.
The Arkansas governor told CNN This Morning host Kaitlan Collins last week that he was “seriously considering” his own 2024 bid and said the party should get past Trump.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
“It would be a grave mistake for Republicans to make Donald Trump their nominee in 2024,” Brooks said in an interview with AL.com in Alabama published last week.
The Alabama congressman, who lost to Trump-backed Katie Britt in the US Senate GOP runoff earlier this year, called Trump “dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, rude” and said the former president angered independents and Republicans alike.
Trump withdrew his support for Brooks after lawmakers moved away from Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, calling Brooks “awakened” and disloyal.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.)
Hogan indirectly lashed out at Trump on the day of the former president’s 2024 announcement, urging the GOP to “turn the page.”
“Since 2016, Republicans have only lost, and Republican voters are paying the price. Doubling down when you lose isn’t just stupid. It’s a gift to the Democrats. It’s time to turn the page,” Hogan said on Twitter.
Hogan last week blamed Trump for the GOP’s disappointing interim results. The two-year governor of Maryland is another GOP figure rumored as a possible challenger for the former president in 2024.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
“We need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking ahead and not staring in the rearview mirror and pretending to be victims,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter after Trump made his 2024 announcement.
The comment did not name the former president but came after Trump repeatedly referred to himself as a “victim” during the much-anticipated speech.
Pompeo also appeared to slam Trump last week over the 2016 and 2020 campaign line that the GOP would “tire of winning” given his promised accomplishments.
“We were told we would get tired of winning. But I’m tired of losing And most Republicans too,” he tweeted.
Pompeo was also mentioned as a possible candidate for 2024.
Former Vice President Mike Pence
During his ongoing media tour to promote his new book, the former vice president has repeatedly attacked 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 replied. “But I think we will have better choices in the future.”
“People in this country actually get along pretty well once you’re out of politics,” Pence told Muir. “And I think they want their national leader to start reflecting that same compassion and generosity of spirit. And I think, so I think there’s going to be better decisions in the coming days.”
Trump said last month it would be “very disloyal” for Pence or other former cabinet members in the Trump administration to seek the GOP nomination.