Donald Trump is doing his best to sideline Sen. Mitt Romney, but the Utah senator isn’t backing down, as a matter of fact, he has stepped up to the plate.
Over recent weeks Romney has faced a barrage of attacks from Trump and his allies. Despite the constant pressure, Romney has mapped out a plan that will have him playing a central role in 2020. Romney will be handing out cash from his campaign “war chest,” headlining party events, and hitting up his donor list for senators that are vulnerable in 2020.
Romney will soon be taking an aggressive step to insert himself into the 2020 campaign by hosting a New York fundraiser for Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, and Michigan Senate hopeful John James. Romney’s team has also been working behind the scenes to direct donors to help GOP Senate candidates in Senate battlegrounds.
Romney aides share that he’s always intended to help in competitive Senate races and that his desire to do so “has never been influenced by Trump’s efforts to ostracize him.” However, Romney’s recent efforts underscore his insistence on not receding from a Republican Party now dominated by Trump.
Romney, 72, cares very little about what Donald Trump has to say about him. Those close to Romney say that he is determined to take a stand for mainstream Republicans who’ve been increasingly marginalized ever since Trump took office.
“I know plenty of my candidates would love Romney’s fundraising help — he’s got a huge donor network, regardless of the Twitter sentiment of the day,” said Will Ritter, a top aide on Romney’s 2018 Senate campaign.
Romney stepped up after dealing with repeated attacks by Trump. Trump’s attacks began after Romney refused to rule out supporting impeachment.
Over the weekend, Trump called Romney a “pompous ‘ass,’” who is “so bad for Rs.” Trump added that Romney was “playing right into the hands” of Democrats and tweeted out a video of him losing the 2012 election.
Mitt Romney never knew how to win. He is a pompous “ass” who has been fighting me from the beginning, except when he begged me for my endorsement for his Senate run (I gave it to him), and when he begged me to be Secretary of State (I didn’t give it to him). He is so bad for R’s!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2019
Trump’s remaining allies have also attacked Romney. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, recently stated that Romney was a “bitter about Donald Trump” winning the White House. Rush Limbaugh told listeners that Romney is determined to “get rid of Trump.” And Donald Trump Jr. said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “much tougher than Mittens.”
Romney further infuriated Trump when he called his appeal to China to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, “wrong and appalling.”
Romney has stood tall and shrugged off the attacks. On Thursday evening, he hosted a fundraiser for the Utah Republican Party. His presence at the Salt Lake event was designed to provide encouragement to mainstream Republicans who’ve long felt alienated from the state party.
“Having someone as well-known as Mitt Romney publicly supporting the Utah Republican Party’s fundraising efforts effectively sends a signal to former donors, the business community, and the entire Utah political establishment that ‘the water is warm,’ so to speak, and it’s safe to jump back in,” said state GOP Chairman Derek Brown.
Brown added that Romney has “made it very clear to me that he was willing to play an active role in supporting the party.”
It is expected that Romney will hold several additional fundraising events over the 2020 election season for Republican incumbents.