Mitt Romney

Romney Sides with Trump on Tariffs

U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney (R) sees President Trump’s proposed $100 billion in new tariffs on China as a shot across the bow but doesn’t think it would lead to trade war, the Deseret News reports.

Said Romney: “I think the president is leading with some policies that will wake up our friends in China and they’ll recognize that business as usual is going to have to change. China over the years has taken advantage of the attitude in America, which is we haven’t watched very closely and they’ve been cheating.”

Romney Would Deport Dreamers

Utah U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney (R) said he’s more conservative on certain issues than President Trump, the Provo Daily Herald reports.

Said Romney: “For instance, I’m a deficit hawk. That makes me more conservative than a lot of Republicans and a lot of Democrats. I’m also more of a hawk on immigration than even the president. My view was these DACA kids shouldn’t all be allowed to stay in the country legally.”

Flake Says Romney Could Create New ‘Power Center’

Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told Roll Call that the Senate needs someone like Mitt Romney to be an “independent voice.”

Said Flake: “We need Mitt Romney in the Senate. We need an independent voice, somebody who will enter the Senate chamber with immediate gravitas and someone who can work across the aisle, and actually, I think, create a whole new power center in the Senate. I think that’s desperately needed.”

Russian Trolls Tried to Torpedo Romney as Top Diplomat

“Weeks after Donald Trump was elected president, Russia-backed online ‘trolls’ flooded social media to try to block Mitt Romney from securing a top job in the incoming administration,” a Wall Street Journal analysis shows.

“The operatives called the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, then a contender for secretary of state, a ‘two headed snake’ and a ‘globalist puppet,’ promoted a rally outside Trump Tower and spread a petition to block Mr. Romney’s appointment to the top diplomatic job, according to a review of now-deleted social-media posts.”

Romney Says He’s Not a Fan of Putin Either

Mitt Romney told KSL-TV that he can’t comment on a recent report that suggested the Kremlin had blocked him from becoming Secretary of State.

Said Romney: “I don’t know what the president’s process was in determining his secretary of state, or why he chose to ask me to come in, or decided not to have me as his secretary of state. So, I really can’t comment on the Steele dossier in that regard.”

He added: “I do believe it’s pretty clear that I’m not a fan of Vladimir Putin’s and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not a fan of mine either.”

Why Trump Endorsed Romney

Jonathan Swan: “He could either endorse Romney, stay silent, or oppose the man he likes to say ‘choked like a dog’ in the 2012 election. Either of the latter two options would have resulted in cable news blaring “Utah rejects Trump” headlines after an eventual Romney win. Now Trump can claim credit for Romney’s victory, and be on the side of a winner.”

Said a GOP source: “This was totally predictable.  The President who (usually) has good political instincts got ahead of any stories (which press is dying to write) about a Romney victory (primary) being a repudiation of Trump, by endorsing him so now Trump can take credit for win and say it’s because he endorsed!”

A new UtahPolicy.com poll finds Romney leading likely challenger Jenny Wilson 60% to 14%.

McConnell Urges Trump to Get Behind Romney

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the New York Times that President Trump “should rally behind the Senate candidacy of Mitt Romney despite his blistering criticism in 2016, arguing that Mr. Romney’s potent bid was an illustration of the Republican Party’s improving fortunes entering a challenging midterm campaign.”

Said McConnell: “I can’t imagine that he’s not. We don’t want to lose the seat, and this looks like a pretty formidable candidate.”

Utah GOP Chairman Slams Mitt Romney

Utah Republican Party chairman Rob Anderson blasted Mitt Romney’s anticipated Senate run in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, hitting him for “essentially doing what Hillary Clinton did in New York” — campaigning in a state he hasn’t spent much time in.

Said Anderson: “I think he’s keeping out candidates that I think would be a better fit for Utah because, let’s face it, Mitt Romney doesn’t live here, his kids weren’t born here, he doesn’t shop here.”

Romney Told Utah Governor He’s Running

The New York Times reports Mitt Romney sent word to Utah Gary Herbert (R) about the state’s open Senate seat in November’s elections: “I’m running.”

“His yet-to-be-declared candidacy is already highlighting the enduring fractures over President Trump in this heavily Mormon state, where voters have long been uneasy with Mr. Trump’s conduct. At issue is whether Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, should be an overt check on the president, and even use a Senate platform to mount his own White House comeback, or act as an ally and retain access to Mr. Trump the way Mr. Hatch has done.”

Will Bannon Try to Bump Romney?

Callum Borchers: “The race to succeed Hatch in Utah could represent an irresistible challenge for Bannon, especially if Mitt Romney runs. As I have noted before, Romney and Breitbart News were very friendly in 2012, when the former Massachusetts governor was the GOP presidential nominee. But since Romney lost to Barack Obama — an event that roughly coincided with Bannon assuming control of Breitbart — Romney has become a symbol of the political establishment Breitbart reviles.”

Axios: Romney changes Twitter location to Utah.

Run, Mitt, Run

Dana Millbank: “The 2012 Republican presidential nominee has been reluctant to announce a primary challenge to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the longest-serving Republican senator in history. But America needs Romney to step up, to restore dignity to the Senate — and to save the country from the embarrassment Hatch has become.”

“Hatch, long the picture of conservative rectitude, was once a conscientious legislator, even partnering with Ted Kennedy when he thought poor kids were getting a raw deal. But Hatch, the Senate president pro tempore, has undergone a grotesque transformation this year, his 84th on earth and 42nd in the Senate. He has become chief enabler of and cheerleader for President Trump.”

Has Trump Persuaded Orrin Hatch to Block Romney?

McKay Coppins: “After months of quietly laying the groundwork for his own retirement, the 83-year-old Utah senator has signaled to Republican allies in recent weeks that he’s having second thoughts about leaving office when his term ends next year. Interviews with 10 people familiar with the situation—some of whom requested anonymity to speak candidly—suggest that President Trump’s efforts to convince Hatch to seek reelection have influenced the senator’s thinking.”

“This perceived about-face by the seven-term senator has enraged loyalists to Mitt Romney, who had been planning to run for Hatch’s seat (at the senator’s urging no, less). Meanwhile, many Utah Republicans have grown impatient and aggravated with Hatch as he repeatedly postpones announcing his reelection decision.”

How Trump Works to Undermine Mitt Romney

Washington Post: “Before Ronna Romney McDaniel took over as Republican National Committee chairwoman earlier this year, President Trump had a request: Would she be willing to stop using her middle name publicly? Though she had used her maiden name for years in Michigan, where her grandfather had been governor, McDaniel dropped ‘Romney’ from most official party communications and has rarely used it since.”

“The moment offers a window on Trump’s complicated and often tense relationship with Mitt Romney.”

“Those tensions were on display again this week, when White House aides scripted a trip to Utah with a single political goal in mind: to convince Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to run for reelection and thwart Romney from mounting his own bid for the seat, according to a senior White House official involved in the preparations.”

Bannon Bashes Romney Over His Religion

“Steve Bannon bashed Mitt Romney for, as he put it, hiding behind his religion to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War,” CNN reports.

Said Bannon: “Mitt, here’s how it is, brother: The college deferments, we can debate that — but you hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”

First Read: “After Bannon’s vicious attack on Romney and his sons, how does Romney – who’s a competitive guy – respond? Does he think about potentially challenging Trump in 2020? Does he consider running for the Senate, even with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) looking like he’s gearing up for another term? Or does Romney back down?”

“Remember, Romney and Trump are pretty much the polar opposites of the Republican Party. And if 2020 started tomorrow, Trump would probably get a primary challenge from someone like a Romney or a Flake or a John Kasich.”