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Romney not committing to support Trump in 2020

Mitt Romney said that he could not yet commit to supporting Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign, making it clear that he intends to stake his claim as an independent voice for Utah.

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 7:03 AM
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 7:05 AM

Mitt Romney had a tough day in Utah. The former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential nominee lost in the nominating caucuses to state representative Mike Kennedy at the Utah GOP Convention.

Not only did Romney fail to reach the 60% vote needed to secure a place on the November ballot, but Kennedy took the lead in the second round of voting with 50.88%. Romney, one of the most well-known Republicans in the country, came in second place with 49.12% of the vote. Now Romney must compete in a primary to see if he can make the final cut.

Romney is a perfect symbol of the confused state of many Republicans who do not sit squarely within President Donald Trump's political camp. For a brief spell during the 2016 campaign, Romney re-emerged on the political stage when he billed himself as the top "Never-Trumper" with a widely-publicized speech calling Trump a "fraud" and a "cheat."

Romney also did not hesitate to criticize Trump's response to Charlottesville -- saying Trump's comments caused "racists to rejoice."

Not surprisingly, when Senator Orin Hatch was debating whether to retire, Trump strongly encouraged him to run for the Senate again -- slighting Romney, who was considering a run for Hatch's seat.

And yet Romney has also tried to endear himself to Trump -- particularly when he was eager to jump into the Secretary of State sweepstakes. And recently, he has remained relatively supportive of the administration. Indeed, during his tour of Utah, he has been explaining to voters the similarities between himself and the President on many key issues, including taxation and public control of land. On immigration, Romney boasts that he is far more conservative than the President.

Romney's story is not unique, and the impact on Republican candidacies in 2018 could be a huge boon to Democrats as they seek to regain control of Congress. While his unstable governance style and embrace of radical populist ideas on issues like immigration might end up working for Trump as president, the Republican Party and its leaders could end up paying a steep price for allowing this presidency to happen and for continuing to support it.

Like Romney, most Republicans have stood by Trump. Similar to Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Romney has offered strong words about what the President is doing wrong but then generally remained a loyal party foot soldier to the Commander in Chief. His transformation into a Trump supporter during his effort to win over the conservatives at the Utah convention was yet another indication that when push comes to shove, most in the GOP are not willing to break with the President.

In Romney's case, it wasn't enough. Many party leaders and activists still don't forgive Romney for his blistering campaign speech. Speaking to a reporter at the Utah convention, one delegate said, "If he [Romney] would have succeeded in bringing down Donald Trump, we most likely would have ended up with Hillary Clinton."

The GOP will now rise or fall as the Party of Trump. Republicans like Mitt Romney have been the strongest proof that there is no great distance between themselves and the President. While many social conservatives still like to complain about Trump's Playboy values and "mainstream Republicans" don't like his governing style, most have not taken any kind of serious steps to stop him.

Most Republicans in Congress have voted for his bills, and they have not tried to check his executive orders through legislation. House Republicans have shut down the investigations into the administration and devoted more energy to going after the investigators. Many Republicans who have been extremely critical of the president in public have later cozied up to him on the golf course.

The midterm elections will be the first test of whether Republicans will pay a price for the Romney-like embrace of this unconventional presidency. If recent polls showing a diminished Democratic advantage turn out to be true, then Republicans will likely stand by their man for the rest of his term or two terms. The current vacillation about whether some Republicans would endorse Trump, including from Romney, is nothing more than politicians hedging their bets.

If Democrats regain control of Congress, however, that might be the only thing that actually stirs more Republicans to openly oppose this administration by joining Democrats in a bipartisan coalition to reverse his agenda and by pouring resources into members of the party seeking to challenge him in 2020.

Until then, however, most Republicans will still be part of a party, as defined by the Romney perspective, who are simply holding their noses, toeing the party line and waiting to get through the rest of the term without sticking their necks out against Trump.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
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