Virginia Republican Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears said Thursday in a television interview that if Donald Trump makes a third run for the White House, she would not support him.
Earle-Sears, who previously outspokenly defended the former president, told Fox Business that voters in midterm elections this week have given the Republican Party a “very clear message” that it’s time for a new standard-bearer.
“A true leader understands when he has become a liability. A true leader understands that it is time to get off the stage. And the voters have given us that very clear message,” he said, after being asked specifically about Trump, who has been provoking a “big announcement” Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Earle-Sears listed a number of policy areas in which she thought the Trump administration deserved credit, including reducing unemployment levels among black Americans and promulgation of a bill to provide funding permanently to the nation’s historically black colleges and universities. But when asked if he would vote for Trump if he announces a re-election bid next week, he replied: “I couldn’t support him. I just couldn’t.
“We have a clear mission and it’s time to move on,” said Earle-Sears, a former Marine, adding that some of the candidates endorsed by the former president had underperformed Tuesday.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand. And, in fact, that is where we are today,” she said.
Earle-Sears, the first black woman to hold a statewide office in Virginia and the first woman to hold her office, was part of a republican sweep in the state last year. On her campaign, Earle-Sears highlighted her work as the national chair of a group that aimed to engage black voters in the effort to re-elect Trump.
His chief of staff did not immediately respond to an interview request Thursday from the Associated Press.
In light of the disappointing results Tuesday night for the GOP, some allies have called on Trump to delay his announcement, reported AP, saying the party’s full focus must be on Georgia, where Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker they will meet. they will meet in a second round on December 6.