Through the years, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, Republican – Utah, and President Donald J. Trump have had an interesting, and contentious, relationship.
When the President enthusiastically endorsed Romney during his Senate bid last year, things appeared to be on the up-and-up between the two wealthy politicians. But, since being sworn into the Senate earlier this year, Romney has frequently disagreed with Trump’s policies.
And, last week, the failed 2012 presidential candidate revealed he might not endorse Trump during his re-election contest.
At the annual E2 Summit with business and political leaders in Park City, Utah last week, Romney informed the media, “I don’t think endorsements are worth a thimble of spit. I wouldn’t be surprised if I stay out of the endorsements.”
However, the Senator didn’t entirely shut the door on possible future endorsements. Romney did express his belief that an incumbent president with a good economy has a leg-up in the competition. But, the failed 2012 presidential candidate remarked that victory for Trump is “not a sure thing.”
Explaining his stance, Romney commented, “I think the attitude here has got to be the same as across the country, which is the president will surely be the Republican nominee, and an incumbent in a growing economy is more likely to win than to lose. But it’s not a sure thing.”
This certainly isn’t the first time the Senator has declined to endorse Trump. The two politicians traded heated barbs during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
After Romney demanded that Trump release his tax returns in early 2016, Trump tweeted, “Mitt Romney, who was one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics, is now pushing me on tax returns. Dope!” according to Breitbart.
The shameless name-calling didn’t stop here. Romney quickly proclaimed that Trump was a “phony” and a “fraud.” In March of 2016, the failed 2012 presidential candidate tweeted, “Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”
Romney also said, “He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”
According to the Associated Press, the former Governor of Massachusetts wrote the name of his wife Ann on his 2016 presidential ballot. Last week, he remarked, “I still think she’s doing a fine job.”
Although Romney didn’t endorse, or even vote for, Trump during the last presidential election, he graciously accepted the President’s support when he ran for the Senate last year. In February of 2018, Trump tweeted, “@MittRomney has announced he is running for the Senate from the wonderful State of Utah. He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!”
Responding to Trump’s endorsement, Romney tweeted, “Thank you, Mr. President, for the support. I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah.”
The Associated Press reported that Romney disagreed with the President’s recent plan to impose tariffs on Mexico to force the country to help decrease the flow of illegal aliens into the U.S. The Senator reportedly argued that Mexico was a friend to America.
He stated, “Punishing Mexico in some way is, in my opinion, a very bad idea. It’s also expensive for Americans.” While Romney wasn’t on board with Trump’s Mexican tariff proposal, the Senator revealed he agreed with the President on enforcing tariffs on China.
However, according to the Associated Press, “he said he would have gathered a coalition of allies to present a united front to the world’s most populous nation. Romney warned against underestimating China, saying it’s increasingly innovative on technologies like artificial intelligence.”
The failed 2012 presidential candidate also recently informed E&E News that he was “looking at” carbon tax legislation spearheaded by Senator Chris Coons, Democrat – Delaware.
According to The Daily Caller, this is the same legislation Coons co-sponsored retired Senator Jeff Flake, Republican – Arizona, in 2018. Romney remarked, “Taxes have never been my intent, but we’ll see what he has to say. I would very much like to see us reduce our carbon emissions globally, and we’ll see if this might help.”
Romney’s remarks spurred an astounding seventy-five conservative groups to sign a public letter to Congress showing opposition to “any carbon tax.”
The letter was published online this Monday. The Daily Caller reported that “Romney’s remarks got a strong response from conservative activists opposed to carbon taxes, which they say will hit working-class Americans hardest and do little, if anything, to fight global warming.”