According to a new book, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (D-Utah) advised Joe Biden in November 2018 that he was essentially the only hope for our republic.
“You have to run,” Romney reportedly told Biden.
In the book, Gabriel Debenedetti, New York Magazine’s national correspondent, renders the Romney quote in italics, which means he doesn’t necessarily remember the wording. His new work, which is slated for release next week, is entitled, “The Long Alliance: The Imperfect Union of Joe Biden and Barack Obama.”
The Romney quote was flagged by The Guardian’s breaking news editor, Martin Pengelly, who had obtained an advance copy of the book.
Pengelly made a prediction about the exchange.
“Romney’s exhortation to a man then seen as a likely challenger to Donald Trump in 2020 will probably further enrage the former president, his supporters, and the Republican party they dominate.”
Romney’s exhortation was allegedly proffered in a phone call on Nov 6, 2018, after he won his Utah senate seat in a landslide. Biden was on the phone to congratulate Romney on his victory, and apparently what came to Romney’s mind first was the peril the nation faced under Donald Trump.
At one time, Romney apparently felt strongly enough about the poor job Obama and Biden were doing in their first term to run against them in 2012. After dragging Republican voters through a half-hearted campaign and losing big, he had the temerity to encourage his opponent’s running mate to take out the sitting Republican president six years later.
Republicans on Twitter were freshly outraged by Romney’s treachery.
“I hate RINOs” one Twitter denizen opined. “@Mitt Romney is working to make America weaker,” intoned another.
A third weighed in:
If the GOP is to have a future, it must purge it’s ranks of those who break ranks:https://t.co/qzhn5czIav
— Graham Ledger (@GrahamLedger) September 10, 2022
Another “bitter clinger,” as Obama used to call conservatives, weighed in:
I’m ashamed to have ever volunteered for this flea-bitten, dog-hating, magic underwear-wearing coward @MittRomney.https://t.co/F9rCVYNht3
— Cryptid Politics 🇺🇸 (@CryptidPolitics) September 9, 2022
By the time this phone exchange transpired, Romney’s opposition to President Trump was already well established. In a speech on March 3, 2016, Romney famously attacked Trump and his entire legacy, calling him a “fraud” and a “phony.” Of course, Romney is also widely known to have voted to impeach Trump twice.
Many Republicans feel that Romney is an avatar for what is wrong with their feckless party full of appeasers.
And why is this fifth column bad actor still in the GOP?
Some serious weeding and an introspective reexamination of conservatism is desperately needed or Republicans will experience not much change regardless what happens 8 November 2022. https://t.co/RHGkX6OqMN
— Don Riedel (@DonRiedel) September 9, 2022
As further context for the phone call between the two politicians, Debenedetti said that the 2018 election “felt better than 2016” – when Trump beat Hillary Clinton for the presidency – “in part because Democrats were winning big, at least in local races and in the House. But it was also because of a refrain [Biden] kept hearing, and not always from the most expected sources.”
With regard to sourcing for his book, Debenedetti said that it was “primarily the product of hundreds of interviews” with “colleagues, aides, rivals, confidants, allies and eyewitnesses from every stage” of Obama and Biden’s careers since 2003.
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