President Trump and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney are in another ugly, dirty revenge-fueled battle, this time over the Alabama Senate election, and Romney’s hope to be elected to the Senate.
Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) accompanied Donald Trump to Utah today on Air Force One for the announcement that the president was greatly downsizing Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments.
Hatch, representing business interests who want to mine and deforest the land that is sacred to many Indian tribes, has championed cutting or eliminating the two federal preserves that were set aside by an executive under President Obama.
Trump, reports Politico, is likely using the hours on the plane working hard to convince Hatch, one of his earlier and most enthusiastic supporters, not to retire; but instead to run for reelection to the Senate next year.
Hatch, the longest-serving Republican Senator in history, is 83-years-old and earlier this year admitted he was considering retirement. Romney, a Morman with strong connections to Utah, quickly let it leak he would be interested in running
Now, with Trump’s urging, Hatch is saying he is undecided and may run again. Romney is fuming over what Trump has done.
It isn’t just that Trump wants to keep one of his earliest and most enthusiastic supporters in the Senate, but he also wants to make sure Romney, who he doesn’t like, does not take over Hatch’s seat.
The mutual dislike goes back years, Trump refused to support Romney in 2011 when he ran for president in the 2012 election.
When Trump ran in 2016, Romney attacked Trump, calling him a phony and a fraud. “His promises,” said Romney, “are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”
After the election, Trump had a highly visible meeting with Romney supposedly to consider him for Secretary of State.
“In hindsight,” reports Politico, “it looks like the president was just trying to make his nemesis squirm. After all, who could forget the iconic photo of a tragically uncomfortable, helpless Romney sitting rigidly at a white table-clothed dinner table as then-President-elect Trump hovered behind, a sinister grin tattooed across his face.”
Romney was highly critical of Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement on international cooperating to deal with the global climate crisis.
Affirmation of the #ParisAgreement is not only about the climate: It is also about America remaining the global leader.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 31, 2017
Romney again angered Trump in August when he responded to Trump’s statements about white supremacists in Charlottesville by saying that Trump “caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn.”
No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) August 16, 2017
Now the president and the former governor of Massachusetts are opposing each other not just about who should win the special Senate election in Alabama, but about whether Republican candidate Roy Moore is fit to serve in any case.
The president, looking to maintain Republican control of the Senate, has indicated for several weeks he wanted Moore to win, even as numerous women came forward to say that when Moore was in his 30s he dated girls as young as 14, and at one point was banned form a local mall for chasing after underage girls.
Today, Trump went all in for Moore.
"Go get 'em, Roy!" – President Trump
Just got off the phone with President Trump who offered his full support and said he needs a fighter to help him in the US Senate.
I look forward to fighting alongside the President to #MAGA!
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) December 4, 2017
Romney, on the other hand, also took to Twitter, but to denounced Moore and raise ethical issues about why he should not be elected, and if elected, should not be seated in the U.S. Senate.
Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) December 4, 2017
Trump has no interest in the moral high ground, only on winning the political fight.
“For a president obsessed with revenge,” wrote Boston Magazine, “undermining Romney has proven to be a bit of a pet project, and propping up Hatch would presumably be another tally in the president’s column.”
“Though the 2018 election is still about a year away,” adds Boston Magazine, “the embers of the Trump-Romney feud continue to smolder.”
So Romney is taking the moral high road which angers a president who values loyalty over honesty and obedience to his views over any other thoughtful or factual opinion.
Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) November 10, 2017
It seems like Romney is in the wrong political party, or maybe living in the wrong age of American politics because the dirty deeds of Trump and his cohorts are dominating at present.
Most people who would agree with Romney about Alabama are already going to vote for Democratic candidate Doug Jones or write in an independent or another Republican.
When history is written, Romney may well look like the better American but for now, he is being buried under a mountain of Turmpian garbage.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 28, 2017