Mitt Romney Speaks About His Prediction For Donald Trump's Future

If anyone is wondering why members of the Republican party tread lightly where former President Donald Trump is concerned, they need only ask Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, who on Tuesday told The New York Times that "I don't know if he'll [Trump] run in 2024 or not, but if he does, I'm pretty sure he will win the nomination." Romney's prediction is a serious one, principally because he's not in Trump's camp. On the contrary, when Romney voted to impeach Donald Trump in February 2020, the senator condemned Trump's actions as "an appalling abuse of the public trust" (via Time). 

While Romney told The Times on Tuesday that plenty could happen between now and 2024, he added that if he were to make a call based on the names that are being suggested as presidential contenders today, Trump still "wins in a landslide." This doesn't mean that Romney, who himself ran for president in 2012, would be inclined to support the 45th president. When he voted to impeach President Trump a second time, the senator offered even more blistering criticism of Trump than a year prior, calling out his lies that "brought our nation to a dark and dangerous place." 

It's little surprise, then, that Romney told The Times that he wouldn't throw his weight behind a possible Trump candidacy in 2024. "I haven't voted for him in the past. And I would probably be getting behind somebody who I thought more represented the tiny wing of the Republican Party that I represent," Romney said.

Recent GOP poll data reflects Mitt Romney's view

Current poll numbers support Mitt Romney's hypothesis, even after a second, historic impeachment trial. A poll conducted by Morning Consult and Politico found that 54 percent of GOP voters would still support Donald Trump in a presidential primary, even after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection mounted against the U.S. Capitol. Morning Consult also reports the number reflected today is similar to the one seen in November before the 2020 presidential election. The hypothetical poll stacked Trump against his former VP Mike Pence, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, his own son Donald Trump Jr., and Sens. Mitt Romney and Ted Cruz. Nearly 60 percent of GOP voters think Trump should play a bigger role in the Republican Party. Meanwhile,  Sports Betting websites, like SportsBet and SBD also show Trump as a frontrunner in the upcoming 2024 race. 

Perhaps in the absence of his father's capability to do so, Donald Trump Jr. had earlier taken to Twitter to go after Romney, suggesting the senator become "a Democrat once and for all." However, Romney's recent comments seem to have calmed Don Jr. down. On February 24, Trump Jr. tweeted "Well look at that ... Mitt got one right" as he shared Romney's 2024 predictions. But as one Twitter user points out, "Why is no one mentioning that he (Donald Trump) could be a felon by then several times over? Maybe it's not politically nice to state the obvious, almost like you're wishing for it."

Signs Trump is gearing up for a comeback

Donald Trump, meanwhile, has turned his attention to the Supreme Court and its decision not to block the release of his tax returns. In his latest statement condemning the court's decision, the ex-president assured the public he hadn't bowed out of the ring yet. "I will fight on, just as I have, for the last five years (even before I was successfully elected), despite all of the election crimes that were committed against me. We will win!" he wrote (via Boston Herald).

And if that doesn't sound like a person who's accepted their retirement to you, there are other, more telling signs that suggest Donald Trump may soon attempt a political comeback. There's the fact that he apparently set up camp in front of his TV during his second impeachment trial to suss out his future political enemies. Then there are his engagements: Trump is, purportedly, gearing up to give his first, public post-presidency speech, in which he'll lay out his vision for "the future of the Republican Party and conservative movement," as per what sources told CNBC. Finally, there are the Mar-A-Lago visits. High-profile Republicans continue to fly down to Florida to meet with the ex-president, as Lindsay Graham did in mid-February 2020, apparently to strategize ahead of the 2022 elections (via The Hill). "He's very involved in helping the team win," Graham told reporters. Graham added that Trump had "made a bunch of phone calls" in order to "get the best team on the field," ahead of 2022.