Arch anti-Trumper Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah says fellow Republican and Trump-basher Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has little hope of winning the presidency in 2024.
Cheney was decisively trounced this week in a Republican primary, losing to Harriet Hageman, who had extensive support from former President Donald Trump
On the day after her loss, Cheney said she would continue her vitriolic campaign against Trump and might take that campaign as far as a presidential run in 2024.
“I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very grave threat and risk to our republic. And I think that defeating him is going to require a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats, and independents, and that’s what I intend to be a part of,” she said.
That might not end so well, Romney said Thursday.
“I’m not going to encourage anyone to run for president,” Romney told the Deseret News. “I’ve done that myself, and that’s something I’m not doing again.
“I don’t know if she really wants to do that. She would not become the nominee if she were to run. I can’t imagine that would occur,” Romney said.
Cheney could seek to run as a vehicle for other political purposes, but Romney said, “I’m not in collaboration with that effort.”
Romney praised Cheney for her attacks on Trump.
“I salute her courage. You wouldn’t call it courage, by the way, if there were no consequence for doing what you think is right. She did what she thought was right. I believe she was right,” Romney said.
Cheney said her defeat shows that Trump’s “hold is very strong among some portions of the Republican Party. My state of Wyoming is not necessarily a representative sample of the party,” Cheney said, according to Fox News, citing an ABC interview.
“I think it says a couple of things. I think it says people continue to believe the lie. They continue to believe what he’s saying, which is dangerous,” she said. “I think it also tells you that large portions of our party, including the leadership of our party, is very sick.”
Romney, who in 2016 launched a scorched-earth effort to deny Trump the Republican presidential nomination and voted twice to impeach Trump, said the 2024 GOP presidential nomination is for Trump, or a Trump ally, to claim.
“I don’t think someone who is seen outside the Trump circle would have any realistic chance of becoming the nominee in 2024, barring something I can’t foresee at this stage,” he said, according to the Deseret News.
“If he doesn’t run again, I think it’ll be people who either were supporters of his or people who didn’t say much about him and then would be open to become the nominee,” Romney said.
“My party has changed a great deal over the last decade. It will change again over the next 10 years. I can’t tell you how, but I think we’ll have more voices than one at some point,” he said.
“But right now one voice, and that’s President Trump’s voice, is the loudest and the strongest and bucking him is something people will do at their peril,” he said.
Romney said he thinks the GOP can win a majority in the House, but — referencing comments from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate might remain in Democratic hands – said Republicans might not gain control of the Senate.
“I take my cue from Mitch McConnell who watches it more closely than I do in terms of the races outside of our own races here,’’ he said. “But he looks at races around the nation and I guess just yesterday he said too close to call.”
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