Romney Torches Fellow Senate Republican J.D. Vance: ‘How Do You Sit Next to Him at Lunch?’
A new book about Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) lays out the dismay he felt watching fellow Republican J.D. Vance (R-OH) transform into a MAGA acolyte “overnight” as he sought to appeal to working-class voters.
An excerpt in The Atlantic of McKay Coppins’ Romney: A Reckoning, said the senator was initially “impressed” with Vance and his best-selling memoir Hillbilly Elegy, and found him to be “bright and thoughtful, with interesting ideas about how Republicans could court the white working class without indulging in toxic Trumpism.” The excerpt continued:
Then, in 2021, Vance decided he wanted to run for Senate, and reinvented his entire persona overnight. Suddenly, he was railing against the “childless left” and denouncing Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a “fake holiday” and accusing Joe Biden of manufacturing the opioid crisis “to punish people who didn’t vote for him.” The speed of the MAGA makeover was jarring.
“I do wonder, how do you make that decision?” Romney mused to me as Vance was degrading himself on the campaign trail that summer. “How can you go over a line so stark as that—and for what?” Romney wished he could grab Vance by the shoulders and scream: This is not worth it! “It’s not like you’re going to be famous and powerful because you became a United States senator. It’s like, really? You sell yourself so cheap?” The prospect of having Vance in the caucus made Romney uncomfortable. “How do you sit next to him at lunch?”
Romney has spoken out against members of his party before, becoming the only GOP Senator to vote to convict then-President Donald Trump in his first impeachment trial. Romney also voted to convict in the second trial following the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Trump delighted in Romney’s announcement Wednesday that he would not be seeking re-election in 2024, writing on Truth Social:
FANTASTIC NEWS FOR AMERICA,THE GREAT STATE OF UTAH, & FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. MITT ROMNEY, SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS PIERRE DELECTO, WILL NOT BE SEEKING A SECOND TERM IN THE U.S. SENATE, WHERE HE DID NOT SERVE WITH DISTINCTION. A BIG PRIMARY FIGHT AGAINST HIM WAS IN THE OFFING, BUT NOW THAT WILL NOT BE NECESSARY. CONGRATS TO ALL. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Read the excerpt in The Atlantic article here.
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