Sen. Mitt Romney said in a recent interview he would be happy to support any of the Republican presidential candidates over Donald Trump in next year’s election, but not Vivek Ramaswamy. Romney angered conservatives by saying he would also consider voting for Democratic candidates over Trump and possibly President Joe Biden.
“I’d be happy to support virtually any one of the Republicans, maybe not Vivek (Ramaswamy), but the others that are running would be acceptable to me, and I’d be happy to vote for them,” Romney said Friday in an interview with CBS News. “I’d be happy to vote for a number of the Democrats, too. It would be an upgrade, in my opinion, from Donald Trump and perhaps also from Joe Biden.”
Romney’s office clarified on Tuesday that if Trump and Biden were the Republican and Democratic nominees in 2024, he would cast a write-in ballot for his wife, Ann.
Unsurprisingly, Romney’s statement angered many of his fellow Republicans.
“Turns out he’s opposed to America-First itself, not just one man,” Ramaswamy posted on social media.
In the post, Ramaswamy added that Romney’s niece, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, should resign.
“I dissent,” Utah Sen. Mike Lee posted on social media in response to a post about the interview by conservative commentator Benny Johnson.
Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, who is running to replace Romney in the Senate next year, suggested Romney was motivated by personal animus toward Trump.
“For Romney to declare support for Biden over Trump once again is salt in the wounds of the constituents he once pledged to represent,” Staggs told right-wing website Breitbart News.
Romney is retiring from the U.S. Senate next year, which has fueled speculation he may be eyeing another campaign for the White House.
“I can’t imagine any circumstance — perhaps if Godzilla comes in and removes all the other candidates. Other than Godzilla stepping in, no, I’m not running for president,” Romney said.
Utah Republicans get their chance to weigh in on the GOP presidential field at the party caucus meetings in March. Seven candidates have qualified so far. Joining Trump and Ramaswamy are Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Doug Burgum and Ryan Binkley.
The Utah GOP presidential caucus takes place on March 5, “Super Tuesday.” Sixteen other states and territories hold presidential nominating contests that day.