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Trump faces surging opposition from his own party: Top Republicans say no to the former president’s 2024 presidential bid


Florida – Donald Trump emerged as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the 2024 election, following a series of primary victories last month and securing over 80% of the votes in the Florida primary. However, the journey toward his potential re-election is fraught with resistance, not from the opposition but from within his own ranks—prominent figures from his first term who now openly oppose his candidacy.

Trump faces surging opposition from his own party Top Republicans say no to the former president's 2024 presidential bid

Internal Opposition Grows Within GOP

Despite his strong showing in the primaries, a significant number of influential figures from Trump’s 2017–2021 administration have not only withheld their endorsements but have actively expressed their opposition. Mike Pence, Trump’s own Vice President, stated during a March 15 Fox News interview that he could not support Trump’s re-election “in good conscience.” He cited “profound differences” on several issues, emphasizing that Trump’s current agenda diverges significantly from the conservative principles they once championed together.

Pence’s declaration is just the tip of the iceberg. Mark Esper, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, expressed doubts about Trump’s fitness for office, telling CNN that Trump often places personal interests above those of the country. James Mattis, another Secretary of Defense under Trump, criticized Trump’s actions post-presidency, especially his role in the January 6 Capitol riot, declaring him “a man without a country.”

John Kelly, who served as Trump’s Chief of Staff, voiced his concerns to CNN about Trump’s admiration for dictators and contempt for democratic institutions, starkly stating, “God help us” at the thought of a second Trump term. Similarly, General Mark Milley, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, labeled Trump a “wannabe dictator” in his retirement speech, stressing allegiance to the Constitution over any individual.

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John Bolton, a former National Security Advisor known for his hawkish policies, warned that Trump’s re-election could be a boon for adversaries like Vladimir Putin, whom he described as viewing Trump as “an easy mark.”

Voices of Discontent

The dissent extends beyond high-profile government officials to other members of Trump’s administration. Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide turned whistleblower, starkly warned that a second Trump term could irreversibly damage American democracy, suggesting it might end voting under the current constitutional framework. Stephanie Grisham, former Chief of Staff to Melania Trump, and Sarah Matthews, former Deputy Press Secretary, have also expressed severe criticisms of Trump, with Matthews emphasizing his role in inciting the January 6 insurrection.

Even Anthony Scaramucci, who had a brief stint as White House Communications Director, has turned into a vocal critic. In an interview, he expressed his intent to vote for Biden, citing Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and his threats to use the Department of Justice against his adversaries.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, another former White House communications director, shared on ABC’s “The View” her emotional response to Pence’s refusal to endorse Trump, highlighting her concerns about Trump’s deviation from core Republican values like fiscal responsibility and global leadership.

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Campaign’s Response and the Path Ahead

Despite this growing chorus of dissent, Trump’s campaign remains defiant. Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, dismissed these criticisms as irrelevant, claiming that Trump’s primary performance and his standing in battleground polls against Joe Biden are indicators of his enduring appeal and influence.

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the rift within the Republican Party underscores a broader struggle over its future direction and the principles it stands for. While Trump continues to command a significant base, the vocal opposition from within his own ranks poses questions about the viability of his leadership and the potential long-term impacts on the party’s cohesion and electoral prospects.

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