Can Mitt Romney Save the GOP?

Can Mitt Romney Save the GOP?

© David Burton 2021

Mitt Romney

     The Republican party faces very hard times in the coming years. Its virtual surrender to the disaster that went by the name of Donald Trump has driven many of its faithful members away from what the party had become during the disastrous four years of the Trump dictatorship. The obsequious surrender of so many GOP leaders and followers to the blustering Trump leadership induced many principled party members and supporters to desert the party and either shift their support to the Democrats or to cause these former Republicans to move to the sidelines and withhold their financial and political support from both the Democrats and the Republicans.

     For the past several years, The Republican Party has allowed itself to be overridden by white extremists and right-wing extremists, while moderate conservatives, those who were once the backbone of the GOP have sat silently by and allowed their party to be hijacked. President Trump and the undisciplined mob that he incited on 6 January 2021 at the U.S. Capitol to stop the congressional electoral vote count have laid bare the threat of political violence in the United States that has resulted. Even after the assault on the Capitol, there were still some Republicans in Congress who continued to back the unproven and discredited claims that the election results were fraudulent. Ted Cruz and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley both sent out fund-raising messages touting their efforts to block the vote certification moments before the rioters stormed in. They were unwilling to break with Trump in the days following, hoping to harness the energy of his diehard fans for their own political ambitions.
     All of this has pointed to a sobering reality: Extremism had infiltrated deep into the Republican Party. It is questionable if it can be exorcised. It is questionable if the Republican Party is salvageable. Real Republican leaders will have to step up and push antidemocratic forces out of the party, or the more moderate voices will have to form their own coalitions or a new political party.[1]

     “The cliché of the moment is that the Republican Party is not only ‘divided’ but ‘fractured,’ that an internecine war has split the party in two.
     “If only.
     “The truth is that the Republican Party is now officially the party of choice for political nut cases, including some genuinely dangerous ones. The overwhelming majority of Republicans continue to chug Donald Trump’s Kool Aid by the gallon, indulging if not parroting the fraud and the poison spewed by Trump and his followers, who repeat everything the disgraced demagogue says. [Emphasis mine]
     “It is mainly true of the Republican rank and file. And it is generally true of party leadership which, out of fear of Trump, continues to debase itself by embracing him.
      - - -
     “Forty-five out of 50 Republican senators endorsed sweeping Trump’s putsch attempt under the rug, voting to block an impeachment trial that would place before the nation just what he and his mob had done. It was hardly cause for celebration that five Republican senators dissented. Rather, that 90% of them had voted to give a would-be totalitarian a pass for unleashing hordes of crackpots on our Capitol was yet more reason to conclude that the GOP is a dead letter.
     “It is some grand old party. It is also, evidently, a morally dead one.” (Ref. 2)

     Can moderates and conservatives retrieve control of the GOP? If not, can they successfully launch their own Conservative Party and leave the “old” GOP to the far-right extremists?

     This option for disillusioned Republicans, Conservatives and Never-Trumpers is the reconstitution of the GOP into something resembling the “old-time” Republican Party. Perhaps this “new” Republican Party should be named the Conservative Party, leaving the appellation Republican Party to the disgraced MAGA Trump diehards.

     “As Donald Trump’s Republican Party descends into madness, dragged down by the president’s lies, threats and possible mental illness, it’s become hard to imagine democracy-loving conservatives continuing to live in the same house. They’re in a marriage that can’t be saved.
     “The framework for a new party is already up, thanks to the seasoned Republican operatives behind the never-Trump movement. They can establish a safe space for the likes of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, among others. And their tribe will increase.
      - - -
     “First off, the Trump wing isn’t conservative. It’s radical right. There’s nothing conservative about a personality cult willing to grovel before an authoritarian thug. . .
     “Moreover, America’s conservative institutions have already turned against Trump. All 10 living former defense secretaries, including two who served under Trump - Jim Mattis and Mark Esper - . . . joined to warn against overturning the election results. . .
     “Almost 200 top business executives, many of them heavy donors to the Republican Party, issued a letter urging Congress to certify Joe Biden’s win and cooperate in the transition to the new administration.
     “A new center-right party could attract some of the former Republicans who’ve turned independent in recent years. Last year, for the first time, more Americans were registered as independent than Republican. Many of them could conceivably join a traditional party more resembling the one they left. [Emphasis mine]
     The spectacle of Trump enforcers menacing good Republicans cannot have enhanced party membership. Trump scraped the bottom when he delivered a Mafia-style threat of criminal action against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger if he didn’t throw the state’s election results his way. (That creep show {may well} have enhanced the Democrats’ vote counts in the U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia.)
     “And what about moderate Democrats? They’re known to split tickets. All six New England states have become reliably blue in national elections, yet three of them have very popular Republican governors. . .” (Ref. 3)

     The “new” Republican party will have to get rid of the stench that remains after Donald Trump has left office. In other words, if there is to be a reconstitution of the “old” GOP and its principles, any association with the Trump era will have to be erased and those that head up the “new” GOP must prove that they adhere to old-time GOP style conservative values.

     One light shone brightly in the dark abyss of the Trump presidency, that of Mitt Romney – the Republican Senator from Utah, former governor of Massachusetts and previous presidential candidate.

     At the start of 2020, America had the opportunity to impeach, convict and remove President Trump before he had a chance to do irreparable harm to this country. The impeachment hearings showed conclusively that the president was guilty of abusing his office by pressuring the Ukrainian government to target former Vice President Joe Biden in a corruption probe. At the impeachment hearings, it became obvious to Americans and to the members of his Republican party that Trump had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The facts of the president’s undeniably illegal actions could not be hidden. The President and his toadies then reverted to a defense that, in effect, said “O.K., so he’s guilty, but that doesn’t mean he should be removed from office." The Constitution provides for removal from office when the President is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors”. The President’s defenders dismissed this step by making the allegation that such a move would deny the American people the right not to re-elect him in the next election. Following the President’s impeachment in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, the Republican senators who were supposedly elected in order to represent and serve the American people and to adhere to their oaths of office under the Constitution chose to lick the boots of this would-be dictator. They chose to ignore their sworn duty to be impartial jurors in the trial of Donald J. Trump. If those senators had been truly fair and impartial, the votes for and against Trump’s removal from office could never have been strictly along party lines – Democrats for removal and Republicans for acquittal - with one exception, that of Mitt Romney, the senator from Utah.[4]

     As Jeff Robbins wrote in the Boston Herald at the time, “. . . there was {some} good news, and there were {some} people to be proud of. [Emphasis mine] Sen. Mitt Romney, the sole Republican in Congress to be honest about Donald Trump, reminded Americans what patriotism and political courage look like. Romney’s vote to convict Trump has already generated the viciousness that is Trump World’s calling card, but it has also earned him a degree of admiration reserved for few politicians, one that will endure in history.
      - - -
     “Mitt Romney and Alexander Vindman are saving graces, individuals we can point to when telling our children and grandchildren what America has been, what it has meant and why it deserves to be rescued. They are examples that provide some hope as we struggle to save a country that has long provided hope to so many.” (Ref. 5)

     While many Republican politicians were kowtowing to the President and his ridiculous and totally unsubstantiated allegations that the elections had been stolen from him, one Republican stood up and denounced the president and his lackies. On the 3rd of January 2021, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) released the following statement in response to an announcement that several Republican senators planned to oppose certification of the presidential election results:

     “The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic. The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it. More Americans participated in this election than ever before, and they made their choice. President Trump’s lawyers made their case before scores of courts; in every instance, they failed. The Justice Department found no evidence of irregularity sufficient to overturn the election. The Presidential Voter Fraud Commission disbanded without finding such evidence.
     “My fellow Senator Ted Cruz and the co-signers of his statement argue that rejection of electors or an election audit directed by Congress would restore trust in the election. Nonsense. This argument ignores the widely perceived reality that Congress is an overwhelmingly partisan body; the American people wisely place greater trust in the federal courts where judges serve for life. Members of Congress who would substitute their own partisan judgement for that of the courts do not enhance public trust, they imperil it.
     “Were Congress to actually reject state electors, partisans would inevitably demand the same any time their candidate had lost. Congress, not voters in the respective states, would choose our presidents.
     “Adding to this ill-conceived endeavor by some in Congress is the President’s call for his supporters to come to the Capitol on the day when this matter is to be debated and decided. This has the predictable potential to lead to disruption, and worse.
[Emphasis mine]
     “I could never have imagined seeing these things in the greatest democracy in the world. Has ambition so eclipsed principle?” (Ref. 6)

     On the 8th of January 2021 we heard the following on CNN. “Romney has, without doubt, taken the road less traveled among his Republican colleagues over these last few years. He was an outspoken opponent of nominating Trump. He has repeatedly - and publicly - expressed his misgivings with what this President says and how he acts in office.
     “And he paid the price. He was attacked by the President. He was belittled by former colleagues. And as recently as this week, he was mocked on his way from Salt Lake City to Washington for his stands on principle - and against Trump.
     “It would have been a hell of a lot easier for Romney to just stay silent as Trump engaged in his divisive and dangerous rhetoric. To sit by, knowing that saying nothing would probably be the best thing for his personal political interests.
     “He didn't do that. Because he understands that speaking truth to power is what leadership is all about. And that lying to people because it helps you politically is not only cowardice. It's dangerous.
     We saw just how dangerous on Wednesday in the Capitol.” (Ref. 7)

     At the end of 2020 and the beginning pf 2021, while President Trump promised rapid action against the Covid-19 pandemic, he actually did little to nothing while spending his time and energy railing against his election loss and urging his followers to refuse to accept the verdict of the American voters. As Trump failed to take action against the Corona virus, rollout of the vaccine lagged far behind the promised number of vaccinations and the number of Covid-19 deaths soared. Mitt Romney took note of this inexcusable Trump administrations inaction and made specific proposals to address the failure of the Trump Administration and the President’s inattention to the crisis.

     On New Year’s Day 2021, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Sen. Mitt Romney had added his voice to the chorus of critics over the slowness and inefficiency of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination effort, warning that “hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake.”
     The fact that the federal government hadn’t rolled out a comprehensive vaccination plan for the states to model “is as incomprehensible as it is inexcusable,” the Utah Republican said in a statement on New Year’s Day.
     The current program “is woefully behind despite the fact that it encompasses the two easiest populations to vaccinate: frontline workers and long-term care residents,” he said. “Unless new strategies and plans are undertaken, the deadly delays may be compounded as broader and more complex populations are added.”
     According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration “fell vastly short of its goal of delivering an initial shot to 20 million people by the end of December.”
     Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Post reported that “on the final day of a bleak year, only about 2.8 million people had received the shot . . . the first of two doses needed to provide immunity to the virus.”
     Senator Romney said that it was the federal government’s responsibility “to acknowledge reality and develop a plan — particularly when hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake.”
     Drawing on his work with organizing the 2002 Winter Olympics, Romney proposed realistic and immediate action “calling on those who have carried out widespread vaccination programs elsewhere or in the past” to “learn from their experience.”
     Next, the Republican senator proposed enlisting “every medical professional, retired or active, who is not currently engaged in the delivery of care. This could include veterinarians, combat medics and corpsmen, medical students, EMS professionals, first responders, and many others who could be easily trained to administer vaccines.”
     Third, he suggested establishing “vaccination sites throughout the states, perhaps in every school. Make sure that a medical professional is in each school building to be able to respond to a reaction that might occur.”
     The senator acknowledged that there might be flaws in his proposals so he invited public health professionals “to point out the errors in this plan — so they should develop better alternatives based on experience, modeling and trial.”
     The task was urgent, Romney said. “We are already behind; urgent action now can help us catch up.”[8] It was most gratifying to hear from someone on the Republican side of the isle who actually had specific and meaningful proposals for combatting the pandemic

     Immediately after the 2020 elections, a poll showed that Vice President Mike Pence and Utah Senator Mitt Romney were among the top hopefuls for a 2024 Republican Party presidential run - but only if President Donald Trump didn't decide to run.

     Immediately after the Capital riot, pollsters were looking ahead to 2024 for some idea of how the GOP might shake out in the coming four years. “A Leger 360 poll . . . found name recognition was clearly favored among top 2024 presidential hopefuls. Pence garnered the support of 26 percent of 1,003 survey respondents who placed him as their first choice for the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
     “. . . Romney {came} in second place as potential challengers to Biden four years from now.
     “Romney trails Pence in the Leger 360 poll with 22 percent. And trailing further down the list are Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and former Ohio Governor John Kasich.” (Ref. 9)

     Mitt Romney has all the credentials and qualifications to become president of the United States of America. He was born March 12, 1947. He served as the junior United States senator from Utah since January 2019. He previously served as the 70th governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and was the Republican Party's nominee for president of the United States in 2012. He has an untainted reputation for morality, honesty and public service.
     Mitt Romney was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and, in the 1960’s, spent over two years in France as a Mormon missionary. In 1971, received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brigham Young University (BYU) and in 1975 earned the JD–MBA degree from Harvard University. Romney became a management consultant and in 1977 joined Bain & Company in Boston. As Bain's chief executive officer (CEO), he later helped lead the company out of a financial crisis. In 1984, he co-founded and led the spin-off company Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm that became one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
     After stepping down from Bain Capital, Romney, as the Republican candidate in the 1994 United States Senate election in Massachusetts, lost to longtime incumbent Ted Kennedy. He then resumed his position at Bain Capital. Later, he served a very successful stint as president and CEO of the then-struggling Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics. He was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and, as governor, helped develop a health care reform law (commonly referred to as "Romneycare") that provided near-universal health insurance access through state-level subsidies and individual mandates to purchase health care insurance. He also presided over the elimination of a projected $1.2–1.5 billion state deficit, through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees and closing corporate tax loopholes.
     Romney ran for and won the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, becoming the first Mormon to be a presidential nominee of a major party. He was defeated by incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama.
     After re-establishing residency in Utah, Romney announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Orrin Hatch in the 2018 election; he defeated state representative Mike Kennedy in the Republican primary and Democrat Jenny Wilson in the general election. In doing so, he became only the third individual ever to be elected governor of one state and U.S. senator for another state. In the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, he voted to convict the president of abuse of power (over Trump's attempts to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden), becoming, at that time, the first and only senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president of his own party.[10]

     Mitt Romney might be getting along in age – he will be 77 years old in 2024, but he might be the one person who could credibly help establish the “new” Republican Party and allow a younger and more aggressive conservative to come to the forefront in time for 2028.Mitt Romney just might be the one person who could save the GOP in 2024.


  1. Years in the making, extremist cause won’t end with Trump oue, Deidre Fernandes, Dasia Moore,
    Boston Sunday Globe, Pages A1, A10, 10 January 2021.
  2. Still embracing Trump, GOP throws in moral towel, Jeff Robbins, Boston Herald, Page 17, 2 February 2021.
  3. The Republican Party must split, Froma Harrop, Standard-Examiner, 7 January 2021.
  4. Republicans Ignored Their Constitutional Responsibility, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 401,
    20 February 2020.
  5. Romney, Vindman among the best America can be, Jeff Robbins, Boston Herald, Page 25, 11 February 2020.
  6. Mitt Romney-the voice of sanity in an insane delusional seditious fascist cult,,
    3 January 2021.
  7. How Mitt Romney showed what real leadership looks like, Chris Cillizza, CNN, 8 January 2021.
  8. Mitt Romney says the Trump administration’s failures on vaccine rollout are ‘inexcusable’, Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 January 2021.
  9. Mike Pence, Mitt Romney Lead Poll for 2024 Republican Presidential Candidate—but Only if Trump Doesn't Run, Benjamin Fearnow, Newsweek, 17 November 2020.
  10. Mitt Romney, Wikipedia, Accessed 8 January 2021.

  25 February 2021 {Article 462; Politics_66}    
Go back to the top of the page