In 1968, Michigan Governor George Romney failed in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. The ambition to serve as our nation’s Commander-in-Chief was shared by his son, Willard “Mitt” Romney, who attempted to win the presidency four decades later. In 2008, Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts, lost the GOP nomination battle to U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who was subsequently destroyed by Barack Obama in the general election.
Four years later, Romney ran again and won the Republican presidential primary contest but lost the general election. In that campaign, Romney was in prime position to defeat President Obama after a strong first debate performance. Inexplicably, his campaign turned soft, he lost the final two debates and was handily defeated. As then candidate Donald Trump noted in 2016, Romney “choked like a dog.”
Ever since that defeat, Romney has not faded away, but stayed in the forefront of national politics. In 2016, he viciously attacked Donald Trump on numerous occasions and tried to prevent him from winning the Republican presidential nomination. He called Trump a “fraud,” and a “phony,” and said that Trump was “playing members of the American public for suckers.”
Once Trump won the nomination, Romney continued to oppose him. He not only refused to endorse his party’s presidential candidate, but he even sold his email list to gadfly presidential candidate Evan McMullin in an obvious effort to disrupt the election. In essence, an allegedly faithful Republican Party supporter Mitt Romney was helping liberal Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was the only candidate that benefitted from the attacks on Trump.
With the upcoming retirement of U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Romney has now officially announced his candidacy for the fall election. Romney is the overwhelming favorite to replace Hatch and become the preferred Trump opponent of the establishment wing of the Republican Party.
It did not take long for Senate candidate Romney to start his attacks on the President. In his announcement, Romney claimed that “Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world, Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion.” Of course, this is a ludicrous charge as our country has been very hospitable to millions of legal immigrants.
During the Reagan administration, three million illegal immigrants were granted amnesty. Today, possibly 20 million illegal immigrants are in the country and President Trump is facing plenty of opposition to maintain his commitment to the American people to build a border wall. Polls show that Americans are supportive of legal immigrants but want border security and support action to stem the flow of illegal immigrants. Romney’s talking points have nothing to do with reality, but it is just his latest attempt to disparage President Trump.
Ever since Donald Trump became President, Romney has looked for opportunities to criticize the President. He blasted the President’s response to the protests in Charlottesville, VA and the comments he supposedly made about Haiti and African countries while meeting with Senators to discuss immigration legislation.
Romney is a pure opportunist, which is why he is running for the U.S. Senate in a state that he has only lived in for five years. Romney was born in Michigan and was elected to his only political office in Massachusetts. According to Utah Republican Party Chairman Rob Anderson, Romney is “keeping out candidates that I think would be a better fit for Utah.” In an interview with the Salt Lake City Tribune, Anderson asserted that Romney “doesn’t live here, his kids weren’t born here, he doesn’t shop here.”
Even though he later apologized for his comments, Anderson was clearly telling the truth. The question is whether any Utah Republican will have the fortitude and financial backing to challenge Romney, who not only is the prohibitive favorite, but also shares the same Mormon faith as 60% of Utah residents.
Notwithstanding a political miracle, Mitt Romney will become the next U.S. Senator from Utah. Once elected, he will abandon his supposed concern for the people of Utah and turn his attention toward criticizing the President with the ultimate goal of challenging him for the 2020 GOP presidential nomination.
Like his father, Mitt Romney has a burning desire to become President. This has not dissipated and will only become more intense when he is elected to “the most exclusive club in the world.” History has shown that the United States Senate is a launching pad for the White House. It has been quite useful for many Presidents, including the last politician to beat Mitt Romney in an election, Barack Obama.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]