Mitt Romney has a tweet or two critical of Trump, and now he wants to be some kind of hero during impeachment? That’s what is being reported by Gabe Sherman of Vanity Fair.
In the Senate, Ben Sasse and Susan Collins have made their usual equivocal noises—but not surprisingly, its Mitt Romney, longtime Trump antagonist and sometime suck-up, who’s become the standard-bearer, leading to questions as to what his game is. According to sources, donors have in recent days called the Utah senator and encouraged him to run against Trump in the primary. “There is a half-billion dollars on the sidelines from guys who are fed up with Trump,” a GOP donor told me. Their hopes were raised when Romney attacked Trump on Friday, tweeting: “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”
You know it is bad for handing out medals for bravery when even Brian Williams says “a tweet is not a vote.” Ouch! And it appears that Romney is furthest out with his criticism of Trump. But what is Romney’s plan or game here?
As noted above, Romney had to do a proskynesis to get Trump’s blessing to run in 2012 for president, then two years later to run for the Senate from Utah. And let’s not forget that Trump humiliation of not getting the Secretary of State gig. This was all considered an act to pose Romney for a later run for president.
But a funny thing, supposedly, has come into Romney’s mind: I may not be president, but I can screw Trump during a Senate trial for impeachment.
According to people close to Romney, he’s firmly decided against primarying Trump, an enterprise he believes to be a sure loser given Trump’s enduring GOP support. Romney has also told people that, as an unsuccessful two-time presidential candidate, he’s the wrong person to take on Trump. Instead, a Romney adviser told me, Romney believes he has more potential power as a senator who will decide Trump’s fate in an impeachment trial. “He could have tremendous influence in the impeachment process as the lone voice of conscience in the Republican caucus,” the adviser said. In recent days, Romney has been reaching out privately to key players in the Republican resistance, according to a person briefed on the conversations. “Romney is the one guy who could bring along Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, Ben Sasse. Romney is the pressure point in the impeachment process. That’s why the things he’s saying are freaking Republicans out.”
I guess by staking out a position where he does not burst into flame from the wrath of Trump that this will show other Senate Republicans not to fear Trump so much? Seems that Romney figures he can convince possible wavering Senate Republicans to ditch Trump during the Senate trial. Nice idea, but does anyone see Romney has a persuasive leader that other Republican Senators would follow? Or is this just some short term game that only Romney sees himself benefitting from?
As I have written before, Trump is not terribly popular in Utah. Seems the Mormons are not fans of the Trump’s lifestyle. And given that Romney is a Morman, it means he will end up being Senator for life from Utah.
The other Senate Republicans may feel that they do not have a bunker to hide in when the Trump tweets start incoming.
Anyway, only time will tell if Romney is half as good as he thinks he is with the revenge scheme against Trump.