Romney predicts Trump’s ‘populist approach,’ ‘substantial influence’ on GOP are not going away

Much to the chagrin of one prominent GOP critic, President Donald Trump is on pace to continue dominating his party long after his tenure as commander-in-chief comes to an end.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) conceded this week that Trump will retain “substantial influence” within the Republican Party regardless of how long he remains in the White House, the Daily Caller reported.

“I don’t think Trumpism is going away”

The failed 2012 GOP presidential nominee offered his latest critique on the president during a CNN interview on Tuesday.

When host Dana Bash asked her guest if he was concerned that the Republican Party would remain wedded to the populist identity defined in Trump’s 2016 campaign and first term in office, Romney acknowledged the inevitable.

“Well, I think President Trump will continue to have substantial influence on the party,” he said, according to the Daily Caller.

The senator’s tacit acknowledgment of the president’s overwhelming popularity among Republicans comes weeks after Trump received 74 million votes — more than any sitting president in U.S. history.

Romney went on to signal a belief that future GOP presidential candidates will likely echo Trump’s rhetoric.

“And I think if you look at the people who are rumored to be thinking of running in 2024, besides the president, those are people who are trying to appeal to kind of a populist approach, so I don’t think Trumpism is going away,” he told CNN, as the Daily Caller reported.

“Democracy itself in jeopardy”

As the only Republican senator to vote for Trump’s impeachment, Romney has attracted disdain from the president’s base and praise from Democrats as well as his fellow anti-Trump Republicans.

He has continued to fret about the future of the GOP even as many of Trump’s supporters say Romney represents a conciliatory form of establishment politics that should be relegated to the past.

“I hope we can have disagreements over policy and the vision of our respective parties without continuing to promote a narrative, which puts democracy itself in jeopardy,” Romney said in his recent interview.

In the days after last month’s contested election, the Utah senator lashed out at the president’s fledgling legal challenges, asserting: “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.”

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