Mitt Romney, running as the Republican candidate for Senate in Utah, doesn’t think it makes sense to talk about impeaching President Donald Trump — because Trump is a “sitting president.”
“I don’t think it makes sense to be talking about impeachment, not for a sitting president,” Romney said at a debate with Democratic Senate candidate Jenny Wilson, a former US congressional aide who is on the Salt Lake County Council, this week.
Of course, impeachment, by definition, is the act of formally charging a sitting official who has committed a crime or acted inappropriately. It’s not clear who Romney thinks could be impeached, given his remarks, but his sentiment is telling of a much broader attitude toward Trump in the Republican Party — one that Romney has increasingly adopted.
Romney was once the leader of the Never Trump movement, making headlines for calling for Trump to release his tax returns and referring to the president a “fraud” and “phony.” But that’s all changed.
Now, expected to win the Senate race in Utah and head to Washington, Romney appears to have adopted the same mindset many traditional congressional Republicans and conservatives have settled into under Trump. As long as Trump promotes conservative policies like tax cuts and an aggressive deregulatory agenda, and nominates conservative judges, all the other stuff — the explicit racism, demagoguery, and destruction of democratic norms — can fall by the wayside.
Asked if he still thought Trump was a “phony,” Romney instead focused on what he likes about Trump’s presidency:
I agree with the tax plan, overall. I agree that the deregulation effort has been wise. There were extraordinary land grabs by President Obama and Clinton.
There are times when I think the president has said things that are racist and misogynistic. I will speak out about those things. I choose the things that I say ... when something of great significance, I will speak my mind and do my best to represent the values and feelings of the people of Utah.
I also believe he is president and that he is doing a lot of things that are very helpful for our state. I will support him in those things.
In other words, it’s worth it for the tax cuts.