(The Hill) — Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who was the Republican nominee for president in 2012, this week said that former President Donald Trump would “very likely” be the GOP’s nominee if he seeks another White House term in 2024.
“I don’t delude myself into thinking I have a big swath of the Republican Party,” Romney, who has been a frequent critic of Trump, said during an interview with Politico. “It’s hard to imagine anything that would derail his support. So, if he wants to become the nominee in ‘24, I think he’s very likely to achieve that.”
Trump has teased a potential run for president in 2024 but has not publicly announced his plans beyond this year’s midterm elections. He has instead used his influence over the party’s base to boost candidates in Republican primaries who have pledged support from him, most notably J.D. Vance in the Republican Senate primary on Tuesday.
“I think we’re going to have a tremendous season. I think we’re going to win a lot of races with great candidates who are going to go on to big numbers in the fall,” Trump said this week following Vance’s victory.
Romney has been a vocal critic of Trump dating back to the 2016 election, during which he called the real estate mogul and then GOP hopeful “a fraud.”
The senator was the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump during his first impeachment and has since lamented the former president’s influence over voters in the Republican party.
“He will have an enormous impact on our party going forward. I believe the great majority of people who voted for Donald Trump want to make sure that his principles and his policies are pursued,” Romney said after the 2020 election. “But I think if you look at the numbers and look at the pickup that Republicans had in state houses across the country and Congress and holding the Senate so far, versus our loss in the presidency, you’d suggest that the presidential race was more a matter of a referendum on a person.”