Political experts have expressed both worry and excitement about what Mitt Romney’s potential return to the national stage could mean for the Republican Party.
According to The Washington Post, Romney’s possible run for the U.S. Senate could lead to a case of “Trump-ism” vs. “Mitt-ism,” where Republicans are forced to a choose a side over the political party’s future.
Establishment Republicans hope Romney’s potential election to the Senate would lead to a “resurgence” of the pre-Trump era of Republicanism. Meanwhile, those who embraced Trump's outsider campaign have less interest in "the establishment" returning to Congress.
“Romney opens up the discussion, illustrating the fight for the soul of a fractured party,” said Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, to The Washington Post.
Wehner, who advised Romney during his 2012 presidential run, added, “Trump’s failures have left him without an iron grip on the party, leaving an opening for different faces and people like Romney, an alternative approach."
Read more at The Washington Post.14 comments on this story
Romney’s potential run for the Senate has dominated news cycles the past two weeks after Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, announced that he would retire at the end of his current term, according to the Deseret News.
Romney’s been quiet on whether he plans to run. One report said Romney and Trump spoke on the phone about the open seat.
A friend of Romney’s, Kem Gardner, told the Deseret News that the former Massachusetts governor plans to run, but likely won’t announce until next week.
"He's not announcing until he's in a position to announce," said Gardner, who worked with Romney on real estate projects. "I think he wants to run, but he wants to be prepared to run."