by Frank Holmes, reporter
Mitt Romney has declared war on former President Donald Trump—and now the Trump supporters are calling in the reinforcements.
Romney crossed the line as one of only seven Senate Republicans to vote for the president’s second impeachment, which failed 57-43.
That has voters back home in conservative Utah steaming mad…and they’re going around the party leaders to make him feel the heat.
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They’re demanding he be censured, resign, or face a major primary challenge from a genuine conservative.
At first, they turned to the Utah Republican Party, but they felt let down when the state party passed on holding Mitt’s feet to the fire.
The Utah GOP said it didn’t want to be “punitive” against Romney for voting to impeach their party’s most recent president. It even adopted a resolution praising the “diversity of thought” his vote brought, “in contrast to the danger of a party fixated on ‘unanimity of thought,'” according to the statement.
“There is power in our differences as a political party,” it said.
Since the party won’t do what its voters want, they say, they’ll do it themselves.
They’re circulating a petition that would act as a grassroots censure of Romney—and it’s gaining signatures quickly.
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The petition calls Romney “an agent for the Establishment Deep State.”
“Senator Willard Mitt Romney has prioritized his personal and political vendetta against President Donald J. Trump ahead of the Constitution of the United States, the interest of We, the People, and the advancement of the Republican Platform,” it says.
And if the petition isn’t strong enough, many of its signers want Romney out of office immediately.
“This is the second time he has betrayed the people of Utah,” said conservative grassroots Republican Jonalee Tobias.
“We elected Mitt Romney to be a part of the red team,” she told The Salt Lake Tribune. “Romney has decided to play for the blue team, and he should resign.”
And if he won’t resign, then they’ll muscle him out of the party, they say.
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Former Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz served his Utah district for eight years in the House of Representatives—and he may be looking for a promotion.
Chaffetz says he has “thought about” running against Romney when the senator is up for his first re-election campaign in 2024.
Chaffetz is a familiar face to viewers of Fox News, often guest hosting for Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham, when he’s not serving as a panelist on the network’s other programs.
Being a well-known TV personality can’t hurt your chances to get elected—as President Trump proved four years ago.
But Chaffetz may have company in the 2024 primaries. Former “Happy Days” star Scott Baio may want to throw his hat in the ring, too.
“Maybe I’ll move there, play a few rounds and unseat you,” Baio tweeted.
Of course, a few Utah politicos support the senator. Evan McMullin, the former CIA spook who ran as a spoiler presidential candidate against President Trump in 2016, said that “Mitt has done more to defend the Constitution than any congressional Republican in modern history.”
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Still, most Utah Republicans say Romney has strained his relationship with the party—saying this was just another round in his yo-yo relationship with Donald Trump.
Romney asked Donald Trump for a donation during the 2012 presidential election—but then denounced Trump during the 2016 primaries.
But, then, as soon as Trump won his historic election, Romney asked the president-elect to appoint him Secretary of State…until Trump caught their secret dinner on tape.
Romney, who is a Mormon, moved to Utah to run for the Senate seat left vacant by the retiring Orrin Hatch—and he once again asked Trump for his endorsement. Trump backed Romney—and then Romney
Once elected, Romney became the first senator in U.S. history to vote against a member of his own party in an impeachment trial.
Romney said Trump committed an “egregious an assault on the Constitution” during a phone call with the president of Ukraine.
Mitt also wrote an op-ed in the uber-Establishment Washington Post that claimed Trump had been “divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions.”
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This time, Romney said he voted to impeach—again—because Trump “incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th … despite the obvious and well-known threats of violence.” And he “violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol,” Romney stated.
Back home in the reddest state in the country, Utah Republicans say Romney is the one who violated his oath of office, and they want censure, or a new senator, ASAP.
“The best censure occurs at the ballot box,” said Utah Republican Party Chairman Derek Brown.
Romney may be on his way back to an early retirement.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”