Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney lamented President Donald Trump’s likely continued “substantial influence” on the Republican Party once he leaves office during a Tuesday afternoon appearance on “CNN Newsroom.”
While Trump has yet to formally concede even as the Electoral College officially voted for President-elect Joe Biden on Monday, the soon-to-be-former president is widely expected to play a dominant role in GOP politics for years to come either as kingmaker or 2024 presidential candidate himself.
CNN anchor Dana Bash brought up Trump’s “very firm grip on the Republican Party” along with the fact that retiring Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell left the GOP because of Trump before asking Romney if he is concerned the party won’t “be able to overcome Trumpism in the near future.”
“Well, I think President Trump will continue to have substantial influence on the party,” Romney responded. “And I think if you look at the people who are rumored to be thinking of running in 2024, besides the president, those are people who are trying to appeal to kind of a populist approach, so I don’t think Trumpism is going away.”
Romney, a frequent Trump critic, went on to express hope that “disagreements over policy and the vision of our respective parties” can be had without “continuing to promote a narrative which puts democracy itself in jeopardy.”
“And when you tell people that voting doesn’t work and that democracy can’t work because we don’t have legitimate elections, that’s a very dangerous thing to be saying,” he added. (RELATED: Al Gore: Republicans Supporting Trump’s ‘Lost Cause’ Are Afraid President Will Tweet Them ‘Into Political Oblivion’)
Following Biden’s Electoral College win, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged the president-elect for the first time in a Tuesday Senate speech.