President Donald Trump is making sure Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) regrets his impeachment “guilty” vote.
The president shared an advertisement accusing his political nemesis of being a “Democrat asset” after Romney voted to convict Trump for “abuse of power” on Wednesday. Romney’s vote has alienated him from many in his party, but liberals who once reviled him as a sexist and racist now find him to be a “brave” voice of dissent.
Trump ad targets Romney as Dem “asset”
Romney was the only senator to break ranks with his party, voting to convict Trump for “abuse of power” but not “obstruction of Congress.” The senator appeared to choke up in a speech explaining his decision, in which he cited his faith and accused Trump of an “appalling abuse of public trust” by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
His vote incensed Trump and his Republican allies, something Romney acknowledged would happen, predicting that history would judge them harshly. Within hours of Romney’s announcement, Trump had tweeted a video advertisement calling Romney a Democrat saboteur and mocking his 2012 election loss, juxtaposing video of his defeat on Election Night with Trump’s victory in 2016.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2020
“Slick, slippery, stealthy; Mitt Romney had us fooled,” the narrator in the video says. “Posing as a Republican, he tried to infiltrate Trump’s administration as secretary of state. Now, his cover is blown, exposed by news reports as a Democrat secret asset.”
Romney briefly auditioned to be Trump’s Secretary of State in 2016 before the role went to Rex Tillerson, who Trump later fired. The failed 2012 presidential nominee dismissed Trump as a “fraud” in 2016, but Trump ended up endorsing Romney anyway in his successful Senate election in Utah in 2018.
Trump rips Romney during “victory lap”
Trump and his Republican allies have criticized the failed presidential candidate as a sore loser who is jealous of the president, as well as an opportunist who turned against Trump after failing to get a job at the White House. Romney was a top target of the president as he took a victory lap on Thursday.
At the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump said that he did not “like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong” and also took a veiled jab at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who repeatedly said that she prayed for Trump through the impeachment. Afterward, at a wild noontime speech at the White House, Trump lambasted Romney for using “religion as a crutch” and asked Romney’s senior colleague Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to apologize to Utahns about Romney.
“And then you had some that used religion as a crutch. They never used it before,” Trump said. “But you know, it’s a failed presidential candidate, so things can happen when you fail so badly running for president.”
Romney feels Republican rage, as Dems praise him
Polls in Utah have found that Romney’s job approval ratings went down during impeachment. Some Republicans like Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL) and Donald Trump Jr. have called for Romney to be expelled from the GOP, and lawmakers in Utah have floated censuring him.
In the age of Trump, Romney has come to symbolize a conciliatory approach to politics that Trump’s base finds weak and ineffective, almost to the point where someone like Romney can’t be distinguished from a Democrat. Naturally, many liberals who once branded Romney a bigot over minor trespasses suddenly have a very different perspective.
Like former National Security Adviser John Bolton before him, who Democrats embraced as a potential star witness in the last leg of the impeachment trial, a Republican once loathed by the left is now winning plaudits for his “courage” from the likes of Hillary Clinton, Pelosi, and CNN.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 6, 2020
Romney’s entitled to his opinion, but there’s no future in the Republican party for him.