Dec 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mitt Romney: GOP has "strayed" from core values

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that the Republican Party "has taken a different course" from its core values in recent years.

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent critic of President Trump. He was the only Republican to vote to convict the president during the impeachment trial in the Senate earlier this year.

  • The 2012 GOP presidential nominee conceded he represents "a very small slice of the Republican party today."

What he's saying: "The party that I knew was very concerned about Russia and Putin and Kim Jong-un and North Korea, and we pushed back aggressively against them," Romney said. "We were a party concerned about balancing the budget. We believed in trade with other nations."

  • "We were happy to play a leadership role on the world stage because we felt that made us safer and more prosperous, and we believed that character was essential in the leaders we chose."
  • "We strayed from that. I don't see us returning to that for a long time."

Yes, but: Romney stopped short of saying he would ever leave the party, instead saying he is "more effective" being in the party while trying to return it to its original values.

  • "I think ultimately the Republican party will return to the roots that have been formed over — well, the century."

Worth noting: Romney said he doesn't see the party's nominee for the presidency in 2024 returning it to its core values, because most of the people vying for the spot "are trying to become as much like Donald Trump as they can be."

  • "Although I must admit that his style and shtick, if you will, is difficult to duplicate. He is an extraordinarily talented person from that standpoint."
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