Mitt Romney to retire from Senate

Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012 against then-president Barack Obama, said Wednesday that he will not seek a second term in the U.S. Senate, citing his old age and a demand for younger leadership.

“I’ve spent my last 25 years in public service of one kind or another,” the Utah lawmaker said in a video statement. “At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid 80s. Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders. They’re the ones who need to make the decisions that shape the world they will be living in.”

Among the challenges mounting for future leaders are a federal fiscal house in shambles and authoritarian regimes in Russia and China, which Romney said both President Biden and former president Trump are ill-equipped to tackle.

“While I’m not running for reelection, I’m not retiring from the fight,” he said. “I’ll be your United States senator until January of 2025. I will keep working on these and other issues and I’ll advance our state’s numerous priorities.”

Romney stepping down from the role comes amid a national conversation about elderly politicians and the liability that physical frailty and cognitive deterioration poses for politics. Recently, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell froze while addressing reporters on two different occasions, prompting many Republicans and Democrats to call for his resignation.

Prior to serving in the Senate, Romney served as the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. Before he secured the 2012 presidential nomination, Romney was a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. Prior to politics, Romney led a successful finance career, co-founding the investment company Bain Capital and presiding over international management consulting firm Bain & Company as CEO. Romney studied at Brigham Young University for his undergraduate years and Harvard University for graduates degrees.

During his time in the Senate, Romney sparred with Trump on the future of the GOP and some of his decisions as president, such as the removal of troops from Syria in 2019. Romney repeatedly grilled Trump for his handling of foreign policy and other issues, writing in a 2019 op-ed in the Washington Post, “The Trump presidency made a deep descent…”

“The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a ‘sucker’ in world affairs all defined his presidency down,” Romney said.

Romney is also the only Republican to twice vote to convict Trump in his impeachment proceedings, for which he was heavily criticized by many GOP colleagues. After voting in 2020 on the first “abuse of power” article of impeachment, Romney told The Atlantic that the vote was “the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life.”

“I have gone through a process of very thorough analysis and searching, and I have prayed through this process,” Romney explained. “But I don’t pretend that God told me what to do . . . I’m subject to my own conscience.”

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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