Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears said Thursday that she won’t support Donald Trump in another presidential campaign. She credited Trump for low black unemployment, funds to historically black colleges and universities, and pressure on NATO members to increase their financial participation in the alliance, but she called for Trump to step aside amid a lack of voter support.
“As a Marine, we’re looking at the mission, and you know, the voters have spoken, and they have said that they want a different leader, and a true leader understands when they have become a liability. A true leader understands that it’s time to step off the stage and the voters have given us that very clear message,” Earle-Sears said in an appearance on Fox Business.
The show segment focused on some national Republican voices expressing a desire for a new party leader, and in Virginia, Delegate Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) made similar comments on Wednesday. Anderson said voter opposition to Trump caused Republicans to lose in VA-07 and VA-10 on Tuesday.
Earle-Sears told Fox Business, “I could not support him [Trump]. I just couldn’t, because we have seen, for example, in those states where he has endorsed the candidates, in fact, Republicans on the same ticket, who he did not endorse, over-performed, whereas his candidates totally under-performed by as much as 10 points. We have a clear mission and it is time to move on.”
“Winsome Sears rode a wave of President Trump’s voters to election victory in 2021,” a Trump spokesperson told The Washington Post. “Her comments are a slap to the face to all of the grassroots Republicans that worked so hard to get her elected. They won’t forget this and there will be a reckoning. There always is in politics.”
Conservative radio host John Fredericks, who is the publisher of The Virginia Star, blasted Earle-Sears. Fredericks chaired Trump’s 2020 campaign in Virginia.
“Winsome Sears’ empty suit clown show continues in Virginia,” he told The Star. “There’s no way that Winsome Sears either wins the nomination or is elected lieutenant governor without an absolute majority of Trump voters embracing her. The first opportunity she had, she punched us in the face. She can bang the shoe as the gavel and make headlines all she wants. She’s accomplished absolutely nothing as lieutenant governor. She has zero influence in the party. And this eliminates her opportunity to win the Republican nomination for governor in 2025. Hope she has fun banging the gavel to nowhere.”
Fredericks declined to comment on Earle-Sears’ criticism of Trump for his failed endorsements.
“It’s unlikely she would have done this without Glenn Youngkin’s approval, who’s also running for president,” Fredericks said. “It’s now obvious he’s running for president in 2024. Good luck, Governor, beating Team Trump in Virginia.”
The Post asked Earle-Sears if Youngkin knew in advance about her plans to criticize Trump.
“I’m not going to say ‘yes’ and I’m not going to say ‘no,'” she said.
Youngkin’s spokesperson didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
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