Mitt Romney announced he’s running for a Senate seat in Utah, but don’t get too excited about the Trump critic entering the race just yet. Here are five things you need to know about his politics.
Mitt Romney, 70, announced on Feb. 16 that he has entered the race to replace Utah’s retiring GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch, 83. Until recently, the former presidential candidate had retreated from the public eye since his electoral loss to Barack Obama in 2012. But his reentrance into the political sphere has come with a voice ready to call out the statements and conduct of President Donald Trump, 71. While the Republican’s policies may make him seem like the sort of Trump-alternative that would be a welcome change in Washington, we need to remember what his policies actually are. Here’s what you should know about Romney’s stances:
1. He’s a lifetime member of the NRA. While he’s said that he doesn’t “line up with the NRA” and supported the existing gun control laws in Massachusetts during his run for the state’s governor, he signed up for a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association in 2006. His 2012 presidential campaign website also stated that “he does not support adding more laws and regulations that do nothing more than burden law-abiding citizens while being ignored by criminals.”
2. He attempted to block a ruling allowing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. Romney has come across as having significantly more liberal views when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights as opposed to his Republican colleagues, but he’s stayed firm when it comes to the belief that marriage should not be extended to gay couples. “I don’t favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name. My view is that domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights and the like are appropriate, but the others are not,” he said in an interview in 2009. When Mass. courts legalized gay marriage during his time as governor, Romney sought to enforce a statute banning state officials from marrying gay couples from other states. He also supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
3. He said undocumented immigrants should “self-deport.” When he announced his senate run, he released a video that seemed to be pro-immigration. “Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world. Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion,” Romney said in the campaign clip. But his stance doesn’t extend to everyone that comes to the U.S. “We’d have a card that indicates who’s here illegally,” he said during his presidential race in 2012, suggesting that his administration would make it harder for illegal immigrants to find jobs. “And if people are not able to have a card, and have through an E-Verify system determine that they are here illegally, then they’re going to find they can’t get work here. And if people don’t get work here, they’re going to self-deport to a place where they can get work.”
I am running for United States Senate to serve the people of Utah and bring Utah's values to Washington. pic.twitter.com/TDkas6gD2p
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 16, 2018
4. He has vocalized wanting to defund Planned Parenthood. “I think I’ve said time and again that I’m a pro-life candidate and I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately is to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget,” the then-presidential candidate told reporters in Ohio in Oct. 2012.
5. He’s critical of Donald Trump. “Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” Romney said in a speech at the University of Utah during Trump’s 2016 campaign, later adding, “He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.” The now-President clapped back, saying, “He was begging for my endorsement [in the 2012 election]. I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees,’ he would have dropped to his knees.” The two politicians later discussed having Romney fill the Secretary of State position, which he reportedly heavily considered, but the job later went to Rex W. Tillerson. If the Senate hopeful wins and heads off to Washington, he’ll likely butt heads with Trump over policies like national security, relations with Russia and immigration.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of Mitt Romney running for Utah’s Senate seat?