Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper Rejects Trump For President
Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is refusing to back his former boss President Donald Trump in his quest for the presidency in 2024. In a recent interview on CNN’s “The Source,” Esper reiterated his refusal to support former Trump for a potential presidential run in 2024.
Instead, Esper is eager to assist any credible Republican candidate who puts the country first and upholds traditional Republican policies and values.
During the interview, anchor Kaitlan Collins asked Esper about his plans for the Republican primary and whether he would endorse another candidate. “You said you don’t think he’s fit for office. He shouldn’t be back in office. How do you plan to handle the Republican primary? Are you going to endorse another candidate?” Collins questioned.
In response, Esper firmly stated that he would not endorse any of the current candidates, voicing his belief that Donald Trump is not fit for office.
“I don’t plan on endorsing anybody. I said that I wouldn’t support Donald Trump. I don’t think that he is fit for office because he puts himself first and I think anyone running for office should put the country first. And they should abide by their oath and do a number of other things,” he said.
Trump's former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper:
"I said that I wouldn't support Donald Trump. I don't think he's fit for office because he puts himself first and I think anybody running for office should put the country first." pic.twitter.com/GkQPE8dEY5
— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) July 21, 2023
Esper highlighted the presence of around a dozen other Republican candidates, at least half of whom he considers highly credible. According to him, any of these six or so contenders could defeat President Biden if they become the Republican nominee.
“What I am looking for, and I am willing to assist any one of them, help them, I’m looking for somebody who puts the country first, a person who will abide by their oath, who will advance traditional, Republican policies and objectives and who will bring the Republican Party together and grow the party,” the former Pentagon chief added.
Pointing out that winning elections is essential for the Republican Party, he went on to state that Trump’s leadership had not led to victories in House, Senate, or White House elections.
Esper’s criticism of Trump is not new, as he previously called him “unfit for office” in another CNN interview from November, following the announcement of Trump’s 2024 campaign. He cited Trump’s tendency to prioritize personal interests over the country as a significant shortcoming and expressed concerns about what he calls “integrity and character issues.”
In that interview, Esper also attributed the GOP’s failure to make substantial gains in the midterm elections to Trump’s leadership.
“The election last week is an example that Donald Trump is incapable of winning elections,” Esper said. “He’s done more to help the Democrats than the Republicans,” he stated.