The Mitt Romney who lost to Barack Obama in 2012 was an infinitely better and more accomplished individual than the man who defeated him.
We don’t wonder why he lost to the popular and groundbreaking president, but we do wonder what happened to that candidate.
Romney’s success in business, with the Olympics and as a Republican governor of heavily Democratic Massachusetts, made him a premier nominee. But the Romney who today is the junior U.S. senator from Utah seems like a petty party pooper bent on revenge for being embarrassed by candidate and now-President Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, he threatened to derail a vote in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that would look into allegations that a Ukrainian company hired Hunter Biden, son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, to attain access to the State Department.
When Biden’s son was on the board of the Ukrainian company, the elder Biden boasted publicly he had a Ukrainian prosecutor fired who was looking into corruption among the country’s top politicians (and some say into the company on whose board his son sat).
Trump, subsequently, was impeached by a partisan U.S. House for suggesting the new Ukrainian president look into the prosecutor mess.
“I think people are tired of these kinds of political investigations,” Romney said this week.
He’s a little late for that. Trump had to endure a two-year investigation into allegations he and his campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel’s report, of course, cleared him of such collusion.
The House then spent a year investigating additional claims and then settled on a partisan whistleblower’s second-hand report to impeach the president
Romney, in the end, was the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump on one of the two articles the House found against him. But Trump was acquitted because two-thirds of the Senate did not agree on a conviction.
The 2012 Republican nominee was never enthused with the candidacy of the New York businessman and reality TV host.
During the campaign, Romney called Trump a “con man, a phony and a fraud” and said he would be “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of the Republican Party.” Trump said Romney was a “failed candidate.”
After the election, though, he praised the president-elect and said he had “increasing hope [he] is the very man who can lead us” to a better future.
Shortly thereafter, Trump began to consider Romney for secretary of state, a position his wife, Ann, said he would have accepted if it had been offered. It wasn’t.
Yet, Trump warmly endorsed his candidacy for the Senate, and Romney warmly replied his thanks. Two days before Romney took office, though, he wrote in a Washington Post column that Trump’s conduct “is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
The battle was on. Whatever feelings Romney has about Trump he apparently cannot put aside.
His niece, Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, tweeted that “for an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack” Trump “is disappointing and unproductive.”
And more recently, Tennessee Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty, who was a national finance chairman for Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, said Romney was “flat wrong” on statements he made about Trump’s potential impeachment and that some of his rhetoric could be “damaging for our interests overseas.”
The Utah senator is allowed to say whatever he wants about the president, but his actions seem to display a personal sore at which he cannot stop picking.
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