Tag: mitt romney
John Cornyn

Why Republican Politicians Fear Another Trump Nomination In 2024

When Donald Trump recently revived his quest to overturn the Affordable Care Act of 2010 , a.k.a. Obamacare, he not only gave Democratic strategists and organizers an issue to use against him in 2024 — he also forced Republicans to have a conversation that many of them were hoping to avoid. Efforts to overturn the ACA proved to be a major liability for Republicans in 2018 and 2020, and a KFF poll released earlier this year found that 59 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the law.

In an article published by Politico on December 4, journalists Burgess Everett, Olivia Beavers and Meridith McGraw cite Trump's unpopular campaign against Obamacare as the type of thing Republicans in Congress will have to contend with if Trump is the 2024 GOP presidential nominee — which, according to countless polls, appears likely.

"Trump's recent call to replace the Affordable Care Act is triggering a particularly unwelcome sense of deja vu within the GOP," the Politico journalists report . "Even as many Senate Republicans steered away from Trump over the past couple years, now they're increasingly resigned to another general election that could inundate them with the former president's often fact-averse and hyperbolic statements. But Hill Republicans are girding to treat Trump the third-time nominee the same way they did Trump the neophyte candidate and then president."

Everett, Beavers and McGraw continue , "They're distancing themselves and downplaying his remarks, which touch on policy stresses like his urge to end Obamacare and political grievances like his vow to come down 'hard' on MSNBC for its unfavorable coverage."

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), a conservative Trump critic, recalled how frustrating it was for members of Congress when Trump was unprepared from a policy standpoint.

Romney told Politico, "He says a lot of stuff that he has no intention of actually doing. At some point, you stop getting worried about what he says and recognize: We'll see what he does."

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) acknowledges that things could be chaotic for Republicans in Congress if Trump is 2024's GOP presidential nominee.

Cornyn told Politico, "I'm under no illusions what that would be like. If it's Biden and Trump, I'm gonna be supporting Trump. But that's obviously not without its challenges."

When Politico asked if fellow House Republicans are worried about having to work with Trump again, Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), responded, "S*** yeah. Orange Jesus?"

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Kyrsten Sinema

Book: Egocentric Sinema Is Keen To Cash In On Her Senate Infamy

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who has been a thorn in the side of both President Joe Biden and the Senate Democratic Caucus, is already eyeing a potentially lucrative private sector career if her bid to stay in the US Senate is unsuccessful.

In Atlantic staff writer McKay Coppins' new biography of outgoing Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Sinema — an independent who caucuses with Democrats (although she left the Democratic Party in 2022) — apparently confided to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee that she's apathetic about staying in Washington for another six-year term. Arizona's senior US senator added that she feels she unilaterally "saved" the upper chamber of Congress by bucking' Democrats' efforts to eliminate the filibuster.

"I don’t care. I can go on any board I want to. I can be a college president. I can do anything,” she told Romney. “I saved the Senate filibuster by myself. I saved the Senate by myself. That’s good enough for me."

As the New Republicnoted, the filibuster isn't actually a tradition in the Senate, nor is it even mentioned in the US Constitution. Former President Barack Obama once called it a "Jim Crow relic." Sinema's colleague, Senator Angus King (I-ME), has called for it to be reformed by requiring those who use it to actually hold the Senate floor in what's known as a "talking filibuster."

"[I]nstead of having to have 60 votes to pass something, you'd have to have 41 votes to stop it. That way, the minority would at least have to show up," Sen. King said of the filibuster in 2021, when it was used to stop voting rights legislation. "So we've got to do something about this, at least when it comes to something as crucial as democracy itself, as voting rights."

The New Republic's Jason Linkins wrote last weekend that Sinema's obstinacy in getting rid of the filibuster has led to Democrats being unable to pass significant legislative reforms — not only in the arena of voting rights, but in an assortment of other social programs included in Biden's Build Back Better Act that Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sinema ultimately watered down and killed. Sinema was also a key opposition vote in Democrats' unsuccessful attempt to keep the expanded child tax credit.

"Her steadfast opposition to taxing corporations and the wealthy cut off the one funding mechanism that Manchin was willing to countenance to keep it running," Linkins wrote.

Sinema is currently running as an independent in the 2024 US Senate race against both presumptive Republican nominee Kari Lake and presumptive Democratic nominee Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona). An early October poll showed Lake in front, with 37 percent of respondents saying they would vote for her next November. Gallego was second, with 33 percent, while Sinema came in third with just 19 percent support.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Romney Bio Says GOP Senators Laughed At Trump Behind His Back

Romney Bio Says GOP Senators Laughed At Trump Behind His Back

A new biography of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is making waves not just for its revealing tidbits about the private details of the Senate GOP and Romney's life, but also for how prominent Republicans mocked former President Donald Trump behind closed doors.

In one anecdote, author McKay Coppins — a staff writer for The Atlantic shared on NPR's Fresh Air, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blithely referred to then-President Trump in the lead-up to his first impeachment trial in the US Senate as an "idiot" who didn't think before speaking. Romney also recalled a story in which almost the entirety of the Senate GOP laughed at Trump behind his back after he spoke to senators in the aftermath of then-Attorney General Bill Barr's summary of the Mueller report.

"[Trump is] immediately greeted with a standing ovation. The senators - they're kind of treating him like a conquering hero, right? And Trump, as is his wont, launched into some sort of rambling stream-of-consciousness remarks. He talks about the Russia hoax and relitigating the midterm elections. And, you know, he's hitting all of his favorite policy points about China tariffs and border security and, you know, just kind of rambling. And at one point, Trump even said that the GOP would soon become the party of health care," Coppins said. "And Romney kind of looked around the room, saw all the senators nodding dutifully in agreement along with everything that Trump was saying, and then as soon as the president left, the entire Republican caucus burst into laughter" (emphasis added).

Coppins' biography, Romney: A Reckoning, was based not only on interviews with the Utah senator (who announced in September his plans to retire instead of running for another term in 2024), but on journal entries, personal correspondence, and private emails the senator and 2012 Republican presidential nominee kept over the years. The book also includes tidbits about Romney's first impressions of Trump when the two first met.

According to Coppins' account, Romney — who had not yet ventured into politics at the time — went to Mar-a-Lago at Trump's invitation in January of 1995 for business-related reasons. He confided to Coppins that he saw Trump as less of a businessman and more of a "cartoonish celebrity." He added that everything he saw there "confirmed his instincts about Trump."

Coppins said:

"He said that when they first pulled up to Mar-a-Lago, there was a line of servants in white linen, you know, waiting to greet him as though they were - he was, like, a king or a lord or something. And Romney remembered saying - just thinking like, where on earth are we? You know, he said he'd never seen anything like that in America. Later, when Trump gave him a tour of Mar-a-Lago, he kind of was showing off various things in this house, this complex that he had just bought, actually. And he showed him a set of gold colored silverware. And Trump said they didn't know this was here when they sold me the place. And it's worth more than I paid for the house. I'm going to make a fortune. And it's just - it was funny because Romney basically came away from the experience saying, that was everything I wanted out of this. You know, it was weird and memorable and a great story that I'll tell people, and I'll probably never see this guy again."

Coppins' book was published this week and is available in stores and online. Click here to read the full transcript of Coppins' Fresh Air interview.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Mitt Romney

Why Romney's 'Centrist Third Party' Is Such A Very Stupid Notion

One can sympathize with Mitt Romney for deciding not to run again in Utah for the U.S. Senate. The traditional Republican has found himself isolated in a party where majorities still revere Donald Trump.

Romney had apparently discussed the idea of forming a new centrist party with West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin. It would "endorse whichever party's nominee isn't stupid," Romney told biographer McKay Coppins.

That sounds sensible, but it actually might hurt the cause of peeling away the curse of Trumpism. Here's the problem:

A designated centrist would drain votes from Democrats as well as Republicans — and in the very swing districts that Democrats need to win if our politics are to return to normal. The far more effective strategy is to simply support Democrats running against the crazies.

The end game must be to make the Republican Party lose power. When that happens, the GOP may fix itself or another conservative party could rise from the ashes.

We know there are attractive Republican moderates who are not stupid — but who recently replaced Democrats in purple districts. They may denounce the lunacy of the authoritarian right, but their positions are of no consequence if their very presence in Congress empowers the worst of the worst.

And the worst of the worst are running the House of Representatives. Ever since the pathetic Kevin McCarthy sold his soul for the speaker's gavel, a handful of mephitic self-promoters have taken control. They now threaten to shut down the government for some stupid reason or another. They get away with their stunts because McCarthy has the slimmest of majorities.

Without the Republican moderates, he'd have no majority at all. The Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries would almost certainly be in charge. (Jeffries is so moderate that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez contemplated having him primaried by a left-winger.) The day may come when the Hatfield-McCoy approach to politics is replaced by a more cooperative rivalry, but it won't under the current Republican leadership.

The most admirable Republicans are those who choose to run bravely facing the tsunami of Trumpian sludge. We speak of Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who sought reelection knowing she would almost certainly lose the primary to one of Trump's flying monkeys. The same goes for Peter Meijer, the Michigan Republican who voted for Trump's impeachment.

Cheney has said that if Trump again becomes the GOP nominee in 2024, she will campaign for Democrats running against Republicans spraying election lies. Her idea is simple and could be effective.

Helping Cheney's cause are Republican donors now hiding their checkbooks from the current party leadership. Consider the example in Michigan of real estate mogul Ron Weiser, who gave Republicans $4.5 million in the 2022 midterm. He's now had it. He can no longer stomach the "ludicrous" claims that Trump won Michigan in 2020.

"I question whether the state party has the necessary expertise to spend the money well," he told Reuters. Translation: They've joined the grifters.

By the end of March, the Arizona Republican Party had less than $50,000 in cash reserves. Why so little? It had spent over $300,000 on lawsuits intended to throw out Arizonans' votes for Joe Biden. And it blew more than $500,000 last year on an election night celebration for Trump-backed candidates, every one of whom lost in the midterms.

A third-party candidate might attract Republicans loath to cast a ballot for a Democrat. We get that. But rather than risk dividing the electorate in a way that could help the toxic election-deniers, disaffected Republicans would do well to partner with Cheney.

In this country one party or the other wins power. And that's why a third party could boomerang on its sponsors.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.