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“RINOs” 23 Influential Republicans That Will Do Everything They Can To Stop Another Trump Presidency

RINOs 23 Influential Republicans That Will Do Everything They Can To Stop Another Trump Presidency
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In modern American politics, the term “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only) has gained prominence, particularly among those critical of figures within the GOP who oppose Donald Trump’s influence and policies. This article profiles 23 influential Republicans who have publicly distanced themselves from Trump, highlighting their criticisms, actions taken to counter his political agenda, and their concerted efforts to prevent another Trump presidency.

Adam Kinzinger

Adam Kinzinger
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Adam Kinzinger is a former U.S. Representative from Illinois and a member of the Republican Party who became one of the most outspoken critics of Donald Trump within his party.

His criticism of Trump intensified following the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, which Kinzinger attributed to Trump’s unfounded claims of a stolen 2020 election. Kinzinger’s opposition to Trump’s actions and rhetoric led him to vote for Trump’s impeachment and to serve on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack.

His stance against Trump and his efforts to hold him accountable have made Kinzinger a prominent figure among Republicans critical of Trump’s influence on the party.

John F. Kelly

John F. Kelly
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John F. Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, served as President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security before becoming the White House Chief of Staff from July 2017 to January 2019. Kelly was initially viewed as a stabilizing force within the Trump administration, tasked with bringing order to a chaotic White House.

However, his tenure was marked by increasing tensions with the president, particularly over issues related to immigration policy, military strategy, and Trump’s handling of sensitive matters, including his interactions with military families and his approach to national security.

Kelly’s disagreements with Trump became more public after his departure from the White House. He has criticized Trump’s policies and leadership style, particularly condemning Trump’s handling of protests against racial injustice, his decision-making process, and his treatment of military personnel and their families. Kelly has also spoken out against Trump’s efforts to undermine confidence in the electoral process and the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results.

Bill Kristol

Bill Kristol
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Bill Kristol is a conservative political analyst and commentator known for his founding role at “The Weekly Standard” and his influential position within conservative circles. As a leading figure in the “Never Trump” movement, Kristol has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump, opposing Trump’s candidacy and presidency due to discrepancies between Trump’s actions and traditional conservative principles.

Kristol’s criticism stems from concerns over Trump’s character, policy decisions, and impact on democracy and the Republican Party. He has actively used media platforms to articulate his opposition, advocating for conservative alternatives to Trump’s leadership.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney
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Mitt Romney, a Republican Senator from Utah and the 2012 Republican nominee for President, has emerged as one of the most prominent critics of Donald Trump within the Republican Party. Romney’s critiques of Trump have centered on concerns over Trump’s conduct, ethical standards, and adherence to constitutional principles.

Romney made history by being the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial in 2020, citing Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine as a betrayal of national trust. He again voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial in 2021, following the January 6 Capitol riot, making him the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in both trials.

Michael Gerson

Michael Gerson
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Michael Gerson is a columnist for The Washington Post and a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush. Known for his evangelical Christian faith and advocacy of compassionate conservatism, Gerson has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump.

He opposes Trump on ethical and policy grounds, particularly criticizing Trump’s approach to immigration, race relations, and the degradation of political discourse. Gerson’s critiques stem from a belief that Trump’s leadership style and policies diverge significantly from traditional conservative values and undermine the moral fabric of American society.

He has consistently used his platform to argue for a return to principle-based governance within the Republican Party.

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan
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Paul Ryan, a former Speaker of the House (2015-2019) and the 2012 Republican Vice Presidential nominee, has been critical of Donald Trump, particularly after leaving office. Despite occasional criticisms during his tenure as Speaker, Ryan’s more pointed critiques of Trump emerged after his retirement from Congress.

Ryan has expressed concern about the direction of the Republican Party under Trump, emphasizing the need for a return to traditional conservative values and principles such as free markets, limited government, and a robust foreign policy. He has criticized Trump’s approach to governance, particularly Trump’s impact on the country’s political discourse and his challenges to the electoral process. In speeches and interviews, Ryan has highlighted the importance of the rule of law and the need for the Republican Party to move beyond Trump’s personality-driven politics.

George Conway

George Conway
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George Conway is a lawyer and a prominent critic of Donald Trump, despite being married to Kellyanne Conway, who served as a senior counselor to Trump during his presidency. George Conway’s opposition to Trump is notable for its intensity and the public platform he uses, including social media and opinion pieces.

He co-founded The Lincoln Project, a political action committee aimed at preventing Trump’s reelection in 2020, and has been vocally critical of Trump’s behavior, policies, and fitness for office. Conway’s critiques often focus on Trump’s ethics, governance style, and adherence to constitutional principles, reflecting a deep concern for the impact of Trump’s presidency on American democracy and the rule of law.

Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt
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Steve Schmidt is a political strategist who has worked on several high-profile Republican campaigns, including John McCain’s 2008 presidential run. Despite his Republican background, Schmidt became a vocal critic of Donald Trump, citing concerns over Trump’s leadership, policies, and impact on the United States’ democratic institutions and international standing.

His criticism of Trump led him to co-found The Lincoln Project, a political action committee dedicated to preventing Trump’s reelection in 2020. Through The Lincoln Project, Schmidt aimed to mobilize opposition against Trump from within the Republican Party and among the broader American electorate, using targeted advertising campaigns to critique Trump’s presidency and advocate for his defeat.

Rick Wilson

Rick Wilson
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Rick Wilson is a seasoned political strategist, media consultant, and one of the co-founders of The Lincoln Project, a political action committee formed explicitly to prevent the re-election of Donald Trump in 2020.

Wilson, who has a long history of working on Republican campaigns, became a fierce critic of Trump, denouncing his presidency’s impact on the country, the Republican Party, and conservative values. Known for his sharp wit and incisive commentary, Wilson has utilized his expertise in political strategy and media to craft compelling messages against Trump, contributing to the broader “Never Trump” movement.

He has authored books critical of Trump and frequently appears in the media as a commentator, where he articulates his concerns about Trump’s policies, behavior, and leadership style. Wilson’s work with The Lincoln Project involved creating and disseminating a series of impactful and often viral political ads aimed at challenging Trump’s bid for re-election and holding him accountable for his actions in office.

Meghan McCain

Meghan McCain
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Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late Senator John McCain, is a media personality and former co-host of “The View” who has been openly critical of Donald Trump. Her criticism largely stems from Trump’s repeated attacks on her father, both before and after his passing in 2018. Trump’s derogatory comments about John McCain’s military service and status as a war hero deeply affected Meghan McCain, leading her to publicly defend her father’s legacy and criticize Trump’s behavior and leadership.

While Meghan McCain identifies as a conservative, her critiques of Trump have highlighted the divisions within the Republican Party and the struggle over its future direction. Her outspoken stance has made her a prominent voice among Republicans who seek to reclaim and redefine the party’s principles post-Trump.

John Weaver

John Weaver
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John Weaver is a political consultant who has worked on several Republican campaigns, including John McCain’s 2000 and 2008 presidential bids and John Kasich’s 2016 presidential campaign. Weaver, known for his moderate Republican views, became a vocal critic of Donald Trump, expressing concern over Trump’s rhetoric, policies, and impact on the Republican Party and the country’s political discourse.

He co-founded The Lincoln Project, a political action committee aimed at preventing Trump’s re-election in 2020 by rallying Republicans and independents against Trump. The Lincoln Project engaged in a high-profile media campaign to criticize Trump’s presidency and support his opponents.

However, Weaver’s career faced controversy in 2021 due to allegations of inappropriate behavior, leading to his departure from The Lincoln Project.

Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney
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Liz Cheney, a former U.S. Representative from Wyoming and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, became one of the most prominent Republican critics of Donald Trump, particularly in relation to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Cheney’s commitment to holding Trump accountable for his actions culminated in her serving as the vice chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

Cheney’s outspoken stance against Trump’s actions led to her removal from her leadership position as the Chair of the House Republican Conference in May 2021.

Her vocal opposition to Trump and dedication to preserving democratic norms have made her a divisive figure within the GOP, leading to her primary defeat in 2022.

John Kasich

John Kasich
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John Kasich, the former Governor of Ohio (2011-2019) and a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump, both during the 2016 election and throughout Trump’s presidency. Kasich’s opposition to Trump is rooted in a divergence of values and policy perspectives, emphasizing a more moderate, compassionate approach to governance compared to Trump’s often divisive and confrontational style.

After his own presidential campaign in 2016, Kasich refused to endorse Trump, highlighting his concerns about Trump’s impact on the country and the Republican Party. In a significant move that underscored his opposition, Kasich spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2020 to endorse Joe Biden for president, arguing that Biden represented a more unifying figure capable of leading the country forward.

Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake
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Jeff Flake, a former U.S. Senator from Arizona and a member of the Republican Party, emerged as a significant critic of Donald Trump both during Trump’s candidacy and his presidency. He was vocal about his disapproval of Trump’s approach to governance, particularly criticizing the divisive nature of Trump’s leadership and the departure from traditional conservative principles such as free trade, fiscal responsibility, and a strong foreign policy stance.

Flake chose not to seek re-election in 2018, citing the toxic political environment and his unwillingness to align with Trump as key reasons. In his book “Conscience of a Conservative,” Flake expressed his concerns about the direction of the Republican Party under Trump’s leadership and called for a return to principle-based conservatism.

Ben Sasse

Ben Sasse
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Ben Sasse, a former U.S. Senator from Nebraska, is known for his critical stance towards Donald Trump, particularly highlighting concerns about Trump’s leadership style, his approach to constitutional norms, and the impact of his presidency on the Republican Party and American democracy.

Sasse was one of the few Republican senators who spoke out against Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, emphasizing the importance of respecting the electoral process and the rule of law. His outspoken criticism culminated in a vote to convict Trump in the second impeachment trial, which focused on Trump’s role in inciting the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Cindy McCain

Cindy McCain
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Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, has been a notable figure within the Republican Party who publicly criticized Donald Trump, particularly for his disparaging remarks about her late husband and his leadership style. Despite her long-standing affiliation with the Republican Party, Cindy McCain’s critique of Trump was rooted in what she saw as a departure from the party’s values and the principles her husband championed, such as integrity, honor, and service to the country.

Her opposition to Trump’s presidency led her to endorse Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, a significant move given her status within the party and her husband’s legacy. Cindy McCain cited Biden’s character and integrity as key reasons for her endorsement, emphasizing the need for a leadership style that unites rather than divides.

Charlie Baker

Charlie Baker
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Charlie Baker, the former Governor of Massachusetts, is a Republican known for his moderate political stance and his willingness to work across the aisle with Democrats. During his tenure, Baker was openly critical of Donald Trump, particularly on issues such as healthcare, immigration, and climate policy.

Baker’s opposition to Trump was also evident in his refusal to vote for Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, choosing instead to leave his ballot blank as a sign of dissent.

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter
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Ann Coulter, a conservative commentator, author, and political pundit, initially supported Donald Trump, especially during his 2016 presidential campaign, largely due to his tough stance on immigration and his promise to build a wall on the southern border of the United States. However, her support for Trump waned and turned into criticism over time, primarily due to her perception that Trump failed to deliver on his immigration promises, particularly the construction of the border wall.

Coulter’s critique of Trump has been sharp and public, manifesting through her columns, social media posts, and public appearances. She has criticized Trump for not being sufficiently conservative on issues she considers pivotal, such as immigration control, and has accused him of failing to follow through on his campaign commitments.

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley
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Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina and the United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President Donald Trump, has had a complex relationship with Trump. Initially, during the 2016 Republican primaries, Haley was critical of Trump, endorsing his rivals and expressing concern over his rhetoric and policies. However, after Trump’s election, she joined his administration as UN Ambassador.

Despite her role in the Trump administration, Haley has criticized Trump, particularly after the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, where she condemned his actions and the impact they had on the country.

Haley is currently running against Trump for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2024 elections. Recently Nikki Haley has lashed out at Trump and has said “A president should have moral clarity, and know the difference between right or wrong, and he’s just toxic.”

Mike Pence

Mike Pence
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Mike Pence, the 48th Vice President of the United States under President Donald Trump, has had a complex and evolving relationship with Trump. Their relationship became notably strained following the 2020 presidential election, especially after Pence refused Trump’s demands to overturn the election results during the certification process in Congress on January 6, 2021.

Pence’s actions on January 6, where he upheld the constitutional process despite intense pressure from Trump and his supporters, marked a significant moment of divergence from Trump. In the aftermath, Pence has been more open in his criticism of Trump, particularly regarding the events of January 6 and Trump’s continued false claims about the election being stolen. This criticism continued in his failed Republican Presidential nomination run.

Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson
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Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State under President Donald Trump, had a tenure marked by notable disagreements and tensions with Trump on several foreign policy issues.

Before his appointment, Tillerson was the CEO of ExxonMobil, bringing a business-oriented approach to diplomacy. However, his time as Secretary of State was characterized by clashes with Trump over key diplomatic strategies, including approaches to Russia, North Korea, and the Middle East, as well as disagreements over the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.

The relationship between Tillerson and Trump deteriorated over time, culminating in Tillerson’s dismissal via Twitter in March 2018. After leaving office, Tillerson has been openly critical of Trump’s leadership style and decision-making process, suggesting that Trump often pushed for policies that were not lawful.

John Bolton

John Bolton
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John Bolton, a former National Security Advisor under President Donald Trump, is known for his hawkish foreign policy views and his tenure in the Trump administration from April 2018 to September 2019. Bolton’s relationship with Trump soured over disagreements on several key foreign policy issues, including how to handle relations with North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan.

After leaving the administration, Bolton became one of Trump’s most vocal critics from within the Republican Party. He published a book, “The Room Where It Happened,” which offers a detailed account of his time working with Trump, portraying the president as uninformed and capricious in matters of national security and foreign policy.

Max Boot

Max Boot
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Max Boot is a historian, columnist, and author, traditionally aligned with conservative ideology, who has become a staunch critic of Donald Trump and his influence on the Republican Party. Boot’s opposition to Trump is rooted in concerns over Trump’s foreign policy decisions, his departure from traditional conservative values, and his undermining of democratic norms and institutions.

Viewing Trump’s approach as a betrayal of the principles he values, such as free trade, strong alliances, and a robust stance against authoritarian regimes, Boot has advocated for a return to a principled, ethical conservatism. He has expressed his criticisms through columns, books, and media appearances, calling for conservatives to reject Trumpism.

Conor Jameson
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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    John H. Bingeman

    February 7, 2024 at 12:58 pm

    Hey Conor:
    Thank you for providing this list. I think that you are 100% correct and that there are many more people like these people. Eventually, the Trump period will come to an end and these people will be shocked to learn that millions of Americans will never ever forgive these morons. I don’t like Trump and have never voted for Trump and sadly will not need to vote for him in 2024. Just the same, these people are idiots and will forever be remember for only one thing—they are all idiots.
    Sincerely,
    Ura Goober

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