Mitt Romney says Biden should have pardoned Trump

 May 17, 2024

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is certainly no supporter of former President Donald Trump, which may be exactly why he argued on MSNBC Wednesday that President Joe Biden should have pardoned him rather than let cases against him go forward. 

Romney told “The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle” that he would have "immediately" pardoned Trump even though he has made it clear for years that he finds him reprehensible.

"I'd have pardoned President Trump. Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned a little guy,” he said.

Now, Biden cannot actually pardon Trump in the two state cases against him, including the current case in New York involving hush money payments he allegedly made to two women who threatened to go public with alleged sexual encounters.

Win-win for Trump

Romney addressed this reality, saying, "[Biden] should have fought like crazy to keep this prosecution from going forward. It was a win-win for Donald Trump."

If Lyndon B. Johnson had been in office, Romney said, he would have been “all over that prosecutor saying, ‘You better not bring that forward or I’m gonna drive you out of office.’”

Romney did criticize Trump allies who stood outside the courthouse and blasted the legal system.

“I think it's a terrible fault for our country to see people attacking our legal system. That's an enormous mistake,” he said. “I think it's also demeaning for people to quite apparently try and run for vice president by donning a red tie and standing outside the courthouse - it's just - I’d have felt awkward were I one of those individuals.”

Hindsight is 20-20

Of course, hindsight is 20-20. If it was that easy to predict that Trump would get a bump in the polls every time he got indicted or charged with a multi-million dollar civil verdict, Democrats would have been able to see it coming and acted differently.

No former president has ever been indicted after leaving office, so there was no precedent for how the public would react.

It could have just as easily gone the other way, with a significant drop-off in Trump's support. At any other time in history, it probably would have.

It doesn't even seem like the Democrats get the dynamic now, given how they seem to be desperate to see Trump convicted of something--anything--before the election.

Will it backfire?

Some polls have shown that Trump may lose some support if he is convicted on any charges, but at least one recent poll from Emerson College and The Hill suggests people are fed up with the phony outrage and won't defect at this point.

When pollsters looked at individual states, independents in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin said they were 24-26% more likely to support Trump if he is convicted.

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