It’s no secret that Sen. Mitt Romney is not a huge fan of former President Donald Trump. Even so, the Utah Republican acknowledged on Tuesday that Trump remains widely popular after leaving office one month ago.
“He has by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party,” the senator told The New York Times’ DealBook.
“I don’t know if he’s planning to run in 2024 or not, but if he does, I’m pretty sure he would win the nomination,” Romney said.
On Donald Trump, Senator Mitt Romney at the DealBook DC Policy Project said: “I don’t know if he’ll run in 2024 or not, but if he does I’m pretty sure he will win the nomination.” #DealBookDC https://t.co/Q6zOBOXHks pic.twitter.com/TK6fE9KLx2
— DealBook (@dealbook) February 24, 2021
Rumors of a potential 2024 presidential run for Trump have been gaining steam.
The former president is scheduled to speak Sunday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, and Axios, citing “top Trump allies,” reported he will announce himself as the “presumptive 2024 nominee” for the Republican Party.
Romney presumably hoped Trump would not have the ability to run for president again. The failed 2012 Republican presidential nominee was the only GOP senator to vote to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials.
Divisive as Trump may be, the fact that he draws huge swaths of supporters cannot be denied. The approximately 74 million votes he received in the 2020 election are the second-most ever for a presidential candidate.
By the same token, Trump also draws his critics to the polls. The record-setting 81 million votes that Joe Biden received in 2020 demonstrated that fact.
Romney argued that if recent polling data are any evidence, Republican support for Trump is still very high.
“The polls show that among the names being floated as potential contenders in 2024, if you put President Trump in there among Republicans, he wins in a landslide,” he said.
Romney added that he would not support Trump in a potential 2024 presidential campaign, which is no surprise.
Many prominent Republicans split from the former president in the wake of the November election fight and the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion.
“We need to acknowledge [Trump] let us down,” Haley — a likely 2024 contender herself — told the outlet. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
However, she said, “I know how much people love Donald Trump. I know it. I feel it. Whether it’s an RNC room or social media or talking to donors, I can tell you that the love they have for him is still very strong. That’s not going to just fall to the wayside.”
Politico’s Tim Alberta suggested that Haley should run for president as a closeted Democrat.
“She can pour her time and energy into denouncing those damned socialists in the Democratic Party, carrying forth as the partisan warrior queen, crossing her fingers and hoping that everyone from the redhats to the Republican National Committee members forget her momentary lapse,” he wrote.
“Or she can say what she wants to say. She can cast her lot with [Wyoming Sen.] Liz Cheney. She can campaign as herself. She can prove — once and for all — that her parents made the right choice by coming to the United States of America.”
The obvious implication is that Haley would be some sort of hero if she swore off Trump and ran as a moderate Republican. The liberal establishment media have a vested interest in making this argument.
They know that if Haley runs on that platform, she will lose.
Democrats are scared of the support Trump could drum up in 2024. If they can help a moderate win the Republican nomination, they will have a much easier time defeating that person.
Make no mistake — as soon as the Republican primaries are over, the establishment media will turn against whoever the GOP nominee is. They only support “unity” and “common ground” when it benefits them.
Take the aforementioned Mitt Romney, for example. He is one of the least radical Republicans in the political sphere, and Democrats still smeared him relentlessly when he ran against Barack Obama in 2012.
Obama’s running mate, captain unity himself, now-President Joe Biden, told a Virginia audience with a large number of black voters that Romney was “gonna put y’all back in chains.”
Now that Romney is no longer a presidential candidate, Democrats love him again. After all, a supposedly Republican senator who constantly acts in opposition to prominent Republicans is of great benefit to them.
The reason Donald Trump is so much more popular with Republicans than Romney is that Republicans are finally getting smart.
They have realized that Democrats really have no interest in finding “common ground,” and a candidate like Mitt Romney cannot change that.
For better or for worse, Trump burst onto the scene by fighting fire with fire. If the Republicans want to regain power, that might be their only effective strategy.
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