Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential nominee and a vocal critic of both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, has said he will vote for his wife, Ann Romney, if the two men face each other again in the 2024 election.
According to a report by Deseret News on Thursday, November 9, 2023, Romney made the remark during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” with Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia.
The two senators have teamed up on a new legislation aimed at addressing the national debt crisis.
When asked by host Joe Kernen who he would vote for if Biden and Trump were the only options, Romney said, “It’s pretty straightforward. It’s the same thing I’ve done in the past. I’ll vote for Ann Romney, who’ll be a terrific president.”
Romney revealed that he wrote in his wife’s name in the 2016 and 2020 elections when he did not support either of the major party candidates.
“I wrote in the name of a person who I admire deeply, who I think would be an excellent president,” he told the Deseret News and KSL editorial boards in 2018. “I realized it wasn’t going to go anywhere, but nonetheless felt that I was putting in a very solid name.”
Romney also announced on Wednesday that he will not seek a second term in the Senate, saying that he will retire in 2025 at the age of 82.
He said he made the decision because he believes it is time for a new generation of leaders to take over.
“While I’m not running for re-election, I’m not retiring from the fight,” he said in a video posted on social media. “I’ll continue to work hard for the people of Utah and our great country.”
Romney also urged his fellow Republicans to unite behind a single challenger to Trump, who remains the frontrunner for the GOP nomination with a commanding lead in the polls.
Romney said he hopes the party can choose “someone in the next generation” who can offer a positive vision for the country.
Romney has been one of the most outspoken opponents of Trump within the Republican Party, often clashing with him over his policies, rhetoric and conduct.
He was the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials, the first in 2020 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and the second in 2021 for incitement of insurrection.
Trump, who has repeatedly attacked Romney as a “loser” and a “RINO” (Republican in name only), celebrated his retirement announcement, calling it “fantastic news” and saying that Romney “did not serve with distinction.”
Romney ran for president in 2012 but lost to incumbent Barack Obama. He also sought the Republican nomination in 2008 but was defeated by John McCain.
He served as the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and was a successful businessman and the CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.