In 2012, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) held a prominent position as a leading conservative within the GOP. Serving as the Republican presidential nominee, he ultimately faced defeat against Barack Obama. Fast forward a decade, and Romney finds himself among the less favored conservatives, a realization he now openly acknowledges.
On December 10, Romney participated in an interview with Kristen Welker on NBC’s “Meet The Press” to talk about the 2024 election. In the discussion, the Republican senator declined to exclude the possibility of voting for President Joe Biden in 2024. He explained his decision not to endorse any Republican candidates, expressing concern that such endorsements from him could have negative consequences, describing it as potentially the “kiss of death.” As a result, he opted against making any endorsements.
The ex-Republican presidential nominee experienced a rift with his party due to his consistent criticism of former President Donald Trump. Romney, being the sole GOP senator to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment in both trials, distanced himself from the party stance. Earlier this year, he declared his decision not to seek reelection at the end of his current term.
During the conversation with Welker, Romney expressed his belief that the sole viable candidate, besides himself, for the nomination is former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Despite Haley facing a significant deficit to Trump in the polls, Romney commended her potential.
Additionally, he praised former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his commendable efforts in confronting former President Donald Trump, a notable acknowledgment given Romney’s prior description of Christie as “another bridge-and-tunnel loudmouth.”
The senator expressed backing for a specific individual for the presidency, indicating to Welker his desire for Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to consider entering the presidential race. Romney conveyed his hope that Manchin would become the Democratic nominee, stating, “I wish he’d be the Democratic nominee.”
Manchin, too, has opted not to seek reelection and is contemplating a potential presidential run. If he decides to enter the race, it’s probable that he would run as a third-party candidate. Romney’s term in the Senate concludes in January 2025.