Romney: The Russiagate probe is "totally appropriate" and I'm not sure who I'll vote for in 2020

I’m not surprised he’d be more pro-Mueller and anti-Trump than the average Republican would-be senator. I *am* a bit surprised that he didn’t hedge more in his answers here. Watch the Russiagate one first:

He does say that he doubts Mueller will find any evidence of collusion by Trump but the typical answer to this question lately by GOPers is finish it the hell up. Not just by Trump’s buddies in the party either: Trey Gowdy has been more outspoken in Mueller’s defense than any Republican in Congress and he used those italicized words, verbatim, in a House hearing with Rod Rosenstein last week. Seemingly alone among prominent members of his party, Mitt appears to be in no rush. Hmmmm.

The 2020 answer is more striking, again more for what he doesn’t say than what he does. Two very short clips:

Romney’s worried, understandably, that he may live to regret endorsing Trump early if in fact Mueller turns up a smoking gun or some other scandal submerges the second half of POTUS’s term. Don’t get too close to a loose cannon, as you never know when it might go off. The politic way to hedge, though, would have been to say something like, “It’s too early to think about other elections when I still have my own to worry about, but I have every expectation that I’ll endorse the president eventually. His judicial picks have been excellent, the economy is doing wonderfully. Certainly I’d endorse him if we had to vote today.” Trump endorsed him for Senate, after all (not that Romney needed it to win), and went out of his way to congratulate him on Twitter last week after his primary victory:

Is Romney hedging because he’s expecting a Flake candidacy in 2020? Flake has become the de facto heir to Mitt as Trump critic-in-chief among prominent Republicans. He also encouraged Romney to run for Senate last year and said just a few months ago that he’s optimistic Romney will create a new Trump-skeptical Republican power center in the Senate. Romney in turn did several Senate fundraisers for Flake in 2017. If Flake primaries Trump, Mitt may have no choice but to stay neutral. A sitting senator opposing POTUS knowing that he’ll win the primaries easily seems unthinkable, even one like Romney whose seat is safe, but passing on the whole contest isn’t. Could be that Mitt is anticipating that.

David Strom 6:41 PM on September 26, 2022
David Strom 4:41 PM on September 26, 2022