On Friday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) made headlines by expressing his openness to vote for a Democrat over certain GOP candidates, namely President Donald Trump or businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. This announcement comes as the GOP examines its identity after President Trump’s first term in the White House and amid criticisms against Romney’s niece, GOP Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, for the party’s lukewarm election performances since 2016.
In an interview with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, Romney elucidated his perspective on the current political landscape. “I’d be happy to support virtually any one of the Republicans,” he said, signaling his discontent with Trump and Ramaswamy while leaving the door open for other potential GOP nominees. His remarks also gave a direct nod to Joe Biden, whom he described as “charming” and “engaging,” despite acknowledging policy disagreements and Biden’s mishandling of specific issues.
Thought when he said he was not seeking reelection that we were rid of him!
But, no he’s out there as usual not saying anything of value! No surprise here! America last!
Mitt Romney Says he’ll Vote for a Democrat over Donald Trump or Vivek Ramaswamy https://t.co/4tNHH2zUP7
— Sweet17 (@RealSweet17) November 26, 2023
Romney’s contentious relationship with Trump is well-documented, having voted to impeach the 45th President twice. His latest comments on the political climate reflect a growing divide within the Republican Party, between the so-called “never-Trumpers” and the faction loyal to Trump’s brand of America First conservatism.
Romney’s decision not to seek re-election in 2024, which he attributes to his age and concern over the potential presidential candidates, underlines a broader conversation within the GOP about its direction and leadership.
Romney’s decision has been met with a mix of reactions. Trump celebrated the news, insinuating Romney’s lackluster performance in the Senate. Supporters of the MAGA movement have criticized Romney’s stance, as evidenced by discussions on X, formerly Twitter.
Conservative voices like Monica Crowley have labeled him a “uniparty loser,” pointing to the family connection with McDaniel and suggesting an internal struggle within the party’s ranks.
The senator’s remarks have also resonated on X, stirring reactions from both sides of the political spectrum. Trump’s camp has dismissed Romney’s comments, with spokesperson Steven Cheung characterizing Romney as suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
Romney’s influence on the party should not be overlooked. His communication with his niece following the RNC’s censure of never-Trumper former Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) underscore his role in party dynamics. His critique of the RNC’s language after the events of January 6, 2021, reveals a fissure in the GOP as it grapples with its identity in the aftermath of Trump’s presidency.
As the political season unfolds, all eyes will be on how the Republican base responds to Romney’s overtures and what it means for the party’s future. As Romney himself has said, the time has come for the “next generation of leaders to take America to the next stage of global leadership,” a sentiment that resonates with many within the party seeking to continue the America First political movement to take power back from the Washington political elite class.