Mitt Romney will not primary President Trump and has rebuffed certain big-dollar donor’s efforts to enlist him in their campaign to derail Trump’s bid for reelection.
But that doesn’t mean Mitt won’t try to sabotage Trump in other ways, specifically by trying to rally GOP Senators around convicting Trump should Pelosi actually call for an impeachment vote.
Mitt is facing an uphill battle to be sure as the GOP Senators are not near breaking with Trump. It should be noted the author of this piece has good sources and others have confirmed that donors have approached Romney about primarying Trump.
For Mitt, making his stand in the Senate allows him to operate in the shadows where the establishment GOP feels more comfortable.
From Vanity Fair:
“In the Senate, Ben Sasse and Susan Collins have made their usual equivocal noises—but not surprisingly, its Mitt Romney, longtime Trump antagonist and sometime suck-up, who’s become the standard-bearer, leading to questions as to what his game is.
According to sources, donors have in recent days called the Utah senator and encouraged him to run against Trump in the primary.
“There is a half-billion dollars on the sidelines from guys who are fed up with Trump,” a GOP donor told me.
Their hopes were raised when Romney attacked Trump on Friday, tweeting: “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”
According to people close to Romney, he’s firmly decided against primarying Trump, an enterprise he believes to be a sure loser given Trump’s enduring GOP support.
Romney has also told people that, as an unsuccessful two-time presidential candidate, he’s the wrong person to take on Trump.
Instead, a Romney adviser told me, Romney believes he has more potential power as a senator who will decide Trump’s fate in an impeachment trial. “He could have tremendous influence in the impeachment process as the lone voice of conscience in the Republican caucus,” the adviser said.
In recent days, Romney has been reaching out privately to key players in the Republican resistance, according to a person briefed on the conversations.
“Romney is the one guy who could bring along Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, Ben Sasse. Romney is the pressure point in the impeachment process. That’s why the things he’s saying are freaking Republicans out.” (Romney, through a spokesperson, declined to comment.)