Mitt Romney, the Republican junior senator from Utah, long has been at odds with President Trump.
He was the only Republican senator to convict in both impeachment trials.
But he concedes that Trump “has by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party” and that he probably would win the 2024 GOP presidential nomination if he runs.
“Will President Trump continue to play a role in my party? I’m sure he will, he has by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party,” Romney said Wednesday at a New York Times DealBook virtual event reported by the Washington Examiner.
“I don’t know about his family members, whether they intend to do that. But I expect he will continue playing a role. I don’t know if he’ll run in 2024 or not, but if he does, I’m pretty sure he will win the nomination.”
On Donald Trump, Senator Mitt Romney at the DealBook DC Policy Project said: “I don’t know if he’ll run in 2024 or not, but if he does I’m pretty sure he will win the nomination.” #DealBookDC https://t.co/Q6zOBOXHks pic.twitter.com/TK6fE9KLx2
— DealBook (@dealbook) February 24, 2021
Romney acknowledged that “a lot can happen between now and 2024, and I’m not great at predicting.”
“I look at the polls, and the polls show that among the names being floated as potential contenders in 2024, if you put President Trump in there among Republicans, he wins in a landslide,” the senator said.
A USA Today/Suffolk Poll released Tuesday found that 53.5% of Trump supporters are more loyal to the former president than to the Republican Party.
Only a third said they are loyal to the party as opposed to Trump himself.
The survey found 58.9% want him to run in 2024, while 75% said they would support him in a Republican primary. Eighty-five percent said they would vote for him in the next general election.
But that crowd doesn’t include Romney himself.
“I would not be voting for President Trump again,” Romney said. “I haven’t voted for him in the past. I would probably be getting behind somebody who I thought more represented the tiny wing of the Republican Party that I represent.”
FoxNews.com noted that shortly after the November election, Romney said in a “Meet the Press” interview: “I believe the great majority of people who voted for Donald Trump want to make sure that his principles and his policies are pursued. So yeah, he’s not disappearing by any means. He’s the 900 pound gorilla when it comes to the Republican party.”
Eric Trump, a son of the former president, told the network, “There’s no question he’ll play a pivotal role in politics for a long time to come,”
He noted there are 75 or 80 million people who love what he stands for.
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