Mitt Romney is now a lone GOP voice ready to oppose Trump

Once a standard party leader and presidential candidate, Romney found himself at a time when the man was on the island, often one of the only GOP members to publicly criticize President Donald Trump for his tone, tweets and inability to unite the country at a time of racial showdown.
But after the death of George Floyd and the outpouring of calls for police reform and equal justice, Romney seemed more incompetent than ever before he crossed the party line or remained calm. Over the weekend, Romney marched along with protesters in Washington, tweeting what he said, an obvious and important phrase that is repeated: “Black lives matter.” In recent days, the senator declined to say whether he would support Trump for re-election in November.

Romney attributes his father’s legacy as governor of Michigan in the late 1960s to some of his recent actions, but also says events over the past few weeks have left him thinking – like many Americans – that more needs to change.

“I’m declaring the obvious, and that’s black life matter,” Romney told reporters Monday night in a broad interview. “If there is injustice, we want to correct it. If there are prejudices, we want to change that. If there are biases, we hope to give people a different perspective.”

Romney said, although he does not look at the issue of equality politically, he denies that his party has an “embarrassingly small share of African American votes.”

In recent weeks, Romney’s defiance of the president’s words or tweets has been little more than a reaction to Floyd’s death.

In May, Romney said during a hearing about the coronavirus that he found a U.S. record on testing – which Trump has repeatedly bragged about – “nothing to celebrate.”

After Trump repeatedly put forward a conspiracy theory about the death of an aide who once worked for former congressman, now MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, Romney tweeted “enough” last month. And when Trump tweeted Tuesday about an unconfirmed report that a protester knocked down by police in Buffalo, New York, was a member of Antifa, Romney went to the microphone and told reporters on Capitol Hill that the tweet was “shocking” even like most of his Republican colleagues refused to stop or listen to a tweet he read to them.

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“I saw the tweet. It was a shocking thing to say and I will not explain it with dignity with further comment,” Romney said.

Lawmakers and associates close to the senator argue that his recent statements are not new or escalating. They say the junior Utah senator has always promised to speak out against the president’s actions when he disagrees. He was, after all, one of Trump’s most persistent critics in 2016.

“Everyone should be allowed to have their say,” Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia told CNN about Romney. “I think Mitt has a lot of good friends as part of our conference. … Although people may hardly think from the outside that if he says things you disagree with or maybe says them the wrong way … we still respect his years of his service and his vision. “

Romney’s confrontations with Trump over the years have come in many forms, from flashy speeches to gruesome elections, including the one he announced in 2019 in the Washington Post where he claimed that “the president [had] he did not rise to the cloak of the office. “Romney frustrated GOP colleagues in February when he crossed the aisle and joined Democrats in a vote to remove Trump from office over a top-down trial. Republicans scolded Romney for entering the message of Trump’s imminent acquittal rather than raising their heads. .
“I’ll give him this: a professional presentation,” one GOP senator told CNN at the time. “Not very collegial, but very professional.”

In recent days, Romney has said he is working with colleagues to help create the law to curb police brutality. And while many Republicans declined to comment on his criticism of Trump, they claimed Romney emerged as a legislative partner.

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“He’s willing to participate in important issues affecting the country,” said Sen. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican who is proposing efforts to overhaul police work. “We should welcome every single senator who wants to be part of the solution. That’s good news. I think self-awareness is a good thing too, but he’s trying to make a difference and I think that’s something to admire.”

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