Neither Mitt Romney nor Brian Kemp are Trump favorites to say the least.
Photo: TJ Kirkpatrick-Pool / Megan Varner / Getty Images
This is a difficult time to be a Republican politician known to be on Donald Trump’s long list of people whom he considers disloyal for his continued rule over the GOP. Those traveling with the 45th President have chosen different survival strategies. Last weekend, former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who may be trying to get back into the limelight, perhaps even as a presidential candidate, told the Associated Press that the allegiance to Trump debate “will fade”, adding, “I think Circumstances, ideas and new candidates will … overshadow the whole conversation. ”Ryan, never a MAGA favorite, echoes the dismissive attitude of GOP guys that Trump has repeatedly refuted since he first ran for president in 2015.
Utah Senator and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney may differ after being “booed with relish” by delegates at his state’s GOP convention:
When Romney responded to the screams of “traitor” and “communist” audibly hurled home on his lawn, he asked, “Aren’t you embarrassed?” He barely survived a censorship resolution that was offered a little later and attacked him for supporting “two illegitimate impeachment proceedings” that “violated the constitution and the party.”
This was not Romney’s first collision with a Republican state convention, an event that has always been dominated by conservative ideologues (this year’s delegates cheered Romney’s Senate colleague Mike Lee as “gleefully” as they booed Romney). When he ran for the Senate in 2018, Romney could not win the approval of the State Convention for the GOP nomination. Trump didn’t play a major role in this insult to the former Massachusetts governor. At this point the two men were temporarily in a relaxation phase. Romney’s perceived ideological heresies were exacerbated by anger at him for supporting an alternative route to nominations that are not controlled by convention. But he wasn’t booed at the time, or almost censored. And Romney won 73 percent of the vote in the subsequent primary and received congratulations from Trump.
The current preference of many Utah Republicans for Trump over Romney (Romney’s lukewarm approval ratings in Utah are now largely due to Democratic support for him) is noteworthy given the Senator’s iconic status in the state, partly due to his leadership in the US Olympic Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics and then his fame as the first Mormon presidential candidate. In the 2012 general election, he won 73 percent of the vote in Utah, compared to 46 percent for Trump in 2016 and 58 percent in 2020. But at this point, Romney is likely lucky enough not to stand for re-election until 2024.
Another target of Trumpian’s disgust, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp doesn’t have the best of votes to remove Trump from office, but he has committed the equally grave sin of obstructing the former president’s attempted election campaign, and worse not to believe that he was robbed. Contrary to Romney’s defiant stance and appeal to Republican and Conservative Orthodoxy, Kemp has pursued a Trump-free strategy and adopted MAGA priorities to lower the temperature of his argument with his party’s dark lord. He has cleverly made himself the main excuse for Georgia’s new electoral law, the entire rationale of which is based on Trump’s 2020 lies. More recently, he’s been on a completely gratuitous day trip to visit the Georgia National Guardsmen who serve in the U.S. and Mexico border in Texas, identifying with an even more obvious Trump cause.
Thank you to our heroic Georgia National Guard for responding to our call to protect our nation’s southern border. pic.twitter.com/6lWspzpgMf
– Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 30, 2021
It’s too early to say if Kemp’s move will work, but the only major Trump-encouraged antagonist of 2022 he faces is the overwhelming ex-Democrat with baggage Vernon Jones. Perhaps Trump’s thirst for vengeance on Peach State can be quenched by eliminating Kemp’s sin partner, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who faces several and far more formidable main opponents of 2022. But in any case, it looks more and more like Ryan’s assumption that the Trump factor will simply go away in Republican politics with no serious idol reconciliation going on.
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