Realistically, was he supposed to vote for the president after voting in February to remove him from office?
It’s well-known that Romney didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, although he made a point of noting in that case that he didn’t cross the aisle for Hillary. He wrote in his wife Ann. Today when he was asked if he voted for Trump this year, he affirmed that he hadn’t — but declined to say what he did instead.
Which raises the possibility that Mitt cast his ballot for a guy who was on the ticket that defeated him in 2012. Given Romney’s unusual statement last week exempting Biden from his criticism of politicians who have let their partisanship turn toxic, it wouldn’t be surprising.
Mitt Rommey told me he already voted in the elections but he wouldn’t say if he voted for Joe Biden or wrote someone else in.
“I did not vote for President Trump,” he said
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 21, 2020
Normally this is where I’d speculate wildly about him landing a spot in the Biden administration but I can’t think of a cabinet position that would appeal to him which the left would tolerate having him in. He wouldn’t be offered a top-tier slot like Treasury; progressives would lose their minds. And what incentive would he have to accept a lesser slot, like Commerce, when he can occupy a safe-ish Senate seat in Utah and exert more influence over government that way?
In fact, Romney could be a potentially important vote for Biden in the Senate depending upon how things shake out next month. There’s probably no scenario in which he’s a swing vote — that would require nuking the filibuster, and Dems would need a reasonably large majority for that. But he can play the same role for them that Joe Manchin has played periodically for Republicans, casting a vote that lets the other party claim that support for their position is bipartisan. He did it on impeachment, didn’t he?
He had a good excuse to vote for Biden this time, if in fact he did. According to the president, Sleepy Joe is the fiscal-responsibility candidate:
The “grand bargain” described in that Breitbart piece he linked was the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission. That commission was a direct result of the rise of the tea party: Republicans were swept to power in 2010 running on a platform of stopping ObamaCare and reducing spending, with future Romney running mate Paul Ryan the party’s most notable spokesman for the urgency of entitlement reform. (Ryan was a member of the commission and ended up voting no on its final proposal because he couldn’t abide its plans for raising taxes, a compromise measure aimed at satisfying Democrats in return for their support in cutting spending.) Few things better encapsulate the populist right’s abject abandonment of tea-party priorities for Trumpism than Trump opportunistically trying to make Democrats the party of entitlement reform by citing a tea-party-era initiative to shrink government.
If Romney wants to declare his support for Biden, he should point to that when he does. “I was going to back Trump but then he convinced me that only Biden realizes that entitlement spending is unsustainable.”
I wonder if he regrets casting his vote so early, before we entered the exciting “Trump obsesses about Lesley Stahl” phase of his closing argument. Maybe it would have changed his mind.
“A senior White House official said Trump had told aides he wanted to go after Stahl and brainstormed ideas after the [interview] with a group of aides in the Oval Office,” WaPo reported last night. Exactly what you want your candidate doing in the stretch run of a tough election.
Exit question: Was there anything in that health-care book he gave her?
checks out pic.twitter.com/SS46640uE2
— Christian Vanderbrouk (@UrbanAchievr) October 21, 2020