Donald Trump can most likely count on a solid “yes” from Sen. Mitt Romney when the vote to convict is tallied at his impeachment trial next month.
When the Democrats’ first hyper-partisan impeachment drive ended in an acquittal last year, Trump wasn’t the only one who made history.
Romney, a Utah Republican, became the answer to a “Jeopardy!” question by becoming the only senator in U.S. history to vote to boot a president from his own party during an impeachment trial.
As the Democrats prepare to try Trump again, Romney has telegraphed his vote.
This week, he told Fox News, “I think it’s pretty clear that over the last year or so there has been an effort to corrupt the election of the United States and it was not by President Biden, it was by President Trump and that corruption we saw with regards to the conduct in Ukraine as well as the call to (Georgia) Secretary of state Raffensperger as well as the incitation to insurrection. I mean, this is obviously very serious and an attack on the very foundation of our democracy, and it is something that has to be considered and resolved.”
Additionally, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul this week floated a trial balloon about Trump’s impeachment.
Paul moved to have the Senate toss Trump’s case. He argued that it is unconstitutional to impeach a private citizen, which Trump became on Jan. 20.
Five Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in rejecting Paul’s motion. Among them was Sen. Romney. Explaining his vote, Romney said, “The preponderance of opinion with regards to the constitutionality of a trial of the impeachment of a former president is saying that it is a constitutional process.”
Romney’s liberal streak was obvious to anyone who looked. Just drift back in time a few years.
Romney served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. What’s remarkable about that is he is part of a long string of GOP chief executives there.
Believe it or not, Massachusetts, the soil that grew the Kennedy clan and whose citizens have given us Senate radicals like Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, has had Republican governors for 22 of the last 30 years.
But Romney’s signature achievement as governor has arguably been far more enduring than anything else produced by those other GOP leaders. He created the state’s health care plan, which served as the model for Obamacare – the one policy Republicans love to hate most.
With such a track record, especially as a NeverTrumper, the results of a recent poll in Utah about Romney shouldn’t be surprising.
The Deseret News survey found that 64 percent of Republicans disapprove of Romney’s job performance.
But Romney has found another base of support. As the News noted, “While only a third of GOP voters approve of Romney, 84% of Democrats in the state like the job he is doing.”
The head of the Utah Democratic Party told the paper that Romney’s favorable marks are so high among the Democratic faithful that some in his party suggest they let Romney run unopposed when he comes up for re-election in 2024.
When the GOP lost those two Senate seats in Georgia, creating a tie, some Republicans whispered that West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin may flip, and help preserve the Republican majority.
Given Romney’s appeal to Democrats in his home state, Republicans might want to start wondering if it will be Romney who flips.