Senate

Romney declines to say who he’ll back for president

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Monday declined to say who he will back for president in 2020. 

“I’m not going to be describing who I’ll be voting for, I don’t imagine,” said Romney, who has emerged as the biggest GOP critic of President Trump in the Senate.

“My plan is to stay quiet on that,” he told reporters in response to the question: Are you considering voting for anyone other than President Trump in the fall?

Romney voted in favor of one of the articles of impeachment in the Senate’s trial earlier this year.

He also indicated in an interview with The Atlantic earlier this year that he would not vote for Trump.

“Though he said he won’t make an endorsement in this year’s presidential election, Romney was clear that he will not cast a ballot for Trump,” McKay Coppins wrote in the magazine in early February.

Romney may not be the only GOP senator to not vote for Trump.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said last week she is “struggling” over her decision on whom to support for president.

Asked last week if she could support Trump for reelection, Murkowski said, “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”

For Republicans such as Romney and Murkowski, the question may be whether they’d back the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden — a longtime member of the Senate with relationships on both sides of the aisle.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that a number of Republicans are wrestling with that question.

Romney in the Atlantic interview said that “under no circumstances” would he vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), two of the most liberal candidates in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Romney told Utah media outlets that he voted for his wife in 2016 by writing in her name on the ballot.

“I wrote in the name of a person who I admire deeply, who I think would be an excellent president,” Romney said during his 2018 Senate race.

He said he knew his vote “wasn’t going to go anywhere, but nonetheless felt that I was putting in a very solid name.”

At least 15 Republican senators indicated they didn’t vote for Trump in the 2016 general election. At least nine of them are still in the Senate.

This story was updated to reflect that Romney has not said who he will vote for in 2020 but that he has made it clear it will not be Trump.

CORRECTION: Romney says he is likely to keep his vote in 2020 quiet. An earlier version of this story included incorrect information. 

Tags 2020 presidential election Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Lisa Murkowski Mitt Romney

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