Romney's promise: more of the same
The op-ed by the next Utah senator and former presidential candidate raises the possibility of new opposition to President Trump within his own party. His background would imply otherwise, however.
The simple fact that Trump earned the Republican party's presidential nomination in 2016 shows that, in order to win, the GOP will check its values at the door.
This is why an op-ed written by the former presidential candidate and incoming senator from Utah, Mitt Romney, does not sound completely convincing.
In the text published by the Washington Post, Romney criticizes Trump's presidency with arguments available to all: the chaotic workforce inside the White House, the division in the country, his questionable character and his ineffective policies.
While the former presidential candidate acknowledges that "not all of the president's policies have been misguided" - reducing corporate taxes, and eliminating what he calls "excessive regulations,” among others - he argued that, ultimately, the president "has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
Between paragraphs of what sounds like a political campaign essay, the senator describes everything the country "should" be and achieve - if it had a leader capable of "measuring up." But what is he trying to say, exactly?
Romney's ideal "project" of government "includes political parties promoting policies that strengthen us rather than promote tribalism by exploiting fear and resentment."
Similarly, he promises to "act as he would with any president," supporting policies with which he agrees and opposing those that he doesn’t.
"I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions," he added.
But we're talking here about a politician who accepted Trump's support during his 2012 presidential campaign, and who attacked him constantly during Trump's 2016 presidential run. Trump also considered Romney for Secretary of State in 2016, and Romney accepted the president's endorsement in the leadup to November's midterm elections, despite running a Senate campaign that featured constant criticisms of Washington.
This opening letter before his first job in Congress has officially begun appears simply be a new way for Romney to lay the groundwork for a presidential campaign.