DeVos didn’t mention Trump by name, but her target was clear when she warned Republicans against becoming hung up on “one person.”
“Ours is not a movement dependent on any one person,” DeVos said in a speech at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, The Detroit Free Press reported.
The billionaire, who is a Michigan native, said she worries that political “principles have been overtaken by personalities,” and that policies Republicans support may get lost in the shuffle.
When she was a part of Trump’s administration, DeVos enacted policies the GOP has long held dear. She was a champion of funneling public money to conservative charter and religious schools via vouchers, and made it much harder for college students to lodge reports of sexual assault.
In her speech Saturday, DeVos again championed educational “freedom” vouchers in her speech, and blasted Michigan’s constitutional ban on using public money for private schools.
DeVos resigned from her post as education secretary following the Jan. 6 insurrection, blaming Trump for helping to incite the violence. On Saturday, she likened her former role to a trip to the “dentist,” and said she was glad it’s over.
The Mackinac event is often a testing ground for prospective GOP presidential candidates. But this year, Republicans are waiting to see if their “one person” — Donald Trump — is running.
At recent rallies, his addresses to crowds of his devotees have sounded very much like campaign speeches, but he has not declared his candidacy.
“But I feel so good,” he added.
During a visit earlier this month to a Manhattan police precinct, one of the officers asked Trump if he was going to run for president again. He responded: “I know what I’m going to do, but we’re not supposed to be talking about it yet. But I think you’re going to be very happy.”
Trump said he was holding off on an announcement because of “campaign finance laws, which, frankly are ridiculous.” The longer Trump delays declaring that he’s a candidate, the longer he can continue to fundraise while dodging contribution reporting requirements.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.