Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced this week that he would not seek a second term representing Utah in the Senate. The former Massachusetts governor’s departure could open a major fight for the open seat next year.
The senator made the announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday. Romney said that He said that he had a “particularly productive” tenure in the Senate, citing legislation such as regarding China and regarding “religious liberty protections.”
Despite this, Romney cited age. He said that he would be in his 80s should he be elected to a second six-year term. He said that it was time to hand over the seat to a “new generation of leaders.”
He further critiqued President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, arguing that neither was prepared to handle the challenges facing the country.
My message to Utahns on my Senate reelection plan: pic.twitter.com/kgbsfIxMeR
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 13, 2023
Romney cited Biden’s “feelgood solutions that make no difference.” He said that Biden “underinvests in the military” and that Trump “underinvests in our alliances.”
He said that the “next generation of leaders must take America to the next stage of global leadership.”
The senator, the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for president, has not announced an endorsement in the current primary battle.
However, both Democrats and Republicans may have reason to celebrate the departure of the senator. Romney received significant criticism from Democrats who tried to tie him with the former president.
In addition, during the 2016 election, Romney gave an address against then-nominee Trump. Following the 2020 election, the senator disagreed strongly with Trump’s positions regarding its results.
Romney said that there should be recounts and investigations when warranted, but that Trump was “wrong to say the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen.”
He said that such an argument “damages the cause of freedom here and around the world … and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.”
Romney was often at odds with his own party and voted twice to convict Trump following his two impeachments and received significant criticism from Trump himself.