Photo: Axios on HBO

In an interview with Mike Allen for "Axios on HBO," Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he agrees with "most" of President Trump's actions, specifically as it relates to tax and regulatory policy.

The big picture: Romney has been one of few Republicans to consistently critique the president. In recent weeks, Romney condemned Trump's ask of China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, over unsubstantiated corruption allegations, calling the move "wrong and appalling."

  • Romney has also joined a slew of Republicans in condemning the president's actions in northern Syria. In a Senate floor speech last week, Romney said the decision to abandon the Kurds "will stand as a blood stain in the annals of American history."

What they're saying:

"Well, the president has led the Republican Party. And as the captain of the team, the team has gotten behind the president. I have a different approach, but, you know, most of what the president has done in his first couple of years with regards to tax policy, regulatory policy, most of that I agree with."
— Romney to "Axios on HBO"
  • Romney also noted: "I vote with the president about — 80% of the time, but I think in some of the things that he has said or done that he has detracted from the mission of a leader in shaping the character of the country in a positive way."

Between the lines: Romney has a unique advantage in going against Trump, as Trump only won Utah with 45.5% of the vote in 2016 — and he's not up for re-election until 2024.

  • Republican lawmakers don't often have the same constituency, leaving many to face the president's popularity, which is often higher than their own.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 20,388,408 — Total deaths: 743,599— Total recoveries: 12,616,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 5,150,590 — Total deaths: 164,681 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits — U.S. producer prices rose last month by the most since October 2018.
  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.

Trump congratulates QAnon conspiracy theorist on GOP runoff win

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted congratulations to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist who won the Republican nomination in Georgia's deep-red 14th Congressional District runoff.

Why it matters: The president's approval illustrates how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within the GOP. Greene is among the at least 11 GOP candidates for Congress who have openly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets, per Axios' Jacob Knutson.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

What Kamala Harris means for Biden's climate change plans

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joshua Lott/Stringer.

Sen. Kamala Harris' VP selection could heighten the ticket's focus on environmental justice while prompting fresh Trump campaign political attacks on Democrats' energy plans.

Why it matters: Her introduction comes in an election year that has seen more emphasis on climate change than prior cycles. One effect of the movement ignited by the police killing of George Floyd is a new focus on environmental burdens that poor people and communities of color face.