There may be no one in the Senate who overestimates his importance more than Mitt Romney (R-UT). Nor anyone who has a greater estimation of himself and his superior morals. After all, Jeff Flake is gone. But that still leaves the failed 2012 presidential candidate, and he’s telling reporters that he’s not quite sure whether or not he’ll lend President Donald Trump his endorsement in the upcoming elections.
“I don’t think endorsements are worth a thimble of spit,” he said in Park City on Friday. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I stay out of the endorsements.”
About the worth of his endorsement, Romney is undoubtedly correct.
Asked about Trump’s chances or the prospect of a primary challenger, Romney maintained that the betting odds were with the president.
“I think the attitude here has got to be the same as across the country, which is the president will surely be the Republican nominee, and an incumbent in a growing economy is more likely to win than to lose,” he said. “But it’s not a sure thing.”
Was there a note of hope in that last remark? Perhaps. Romney is notoriously antagonistic towards President Trump; it seems his whole purpose in running for Orrin Hatch’s vacant Senate seat was to get into a better position to oppose and criticize Trump. To that point, Romney has been remarkably restrained over the last six months. But we don’t doubt that he’s merely biding his time and waiting for the right opportunity to strike.
Romney’s reluctance to get on board with the president’s full agenda is not the only place where he finds himself at odds with the conservative movement. Last week, Romney said that he was taking a close look at carbon tax legislation sponsored by Sen. Chris Coons, the Democrat from Delaware.
“Taxes have never been my intent, but we’ll see what he has to say,” Romney told E&E News. “I would very much like to see us reduce our carbon emissions globally, and we’ll see if this might help.”
Those remarks triggered a strong backlash from 75 conservative groups. They got together and sent a letter to Congress opposing any form of carbon tax legislation.
“A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans’ effective take home pay. A carbon tax increases the power, cost, and intrusiveness of the government in our lives,” the groups wrote.
Is it worth mentioning that Jeff Flake was interested in this very same legislation?
Oh, RINOs, what would we do without you…