Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah has laid out a plan that he thinks could help prevent former President Donald Trump from securing the GOP presidential nomination.
In an opinion piece, Romney suggested that the large field of Republican primary contenders should be expeditiously whittled down to just a “two-person race before Mr. Trump has the nomination sewn up.” He said that GOP donors should start pressuring candidates to drop out of the primary once it does not appear that they have a good shot of winning.
“Republican megadonors and influencers—large and small—are going to have to do something they didn’t do in 2016: get candidates they support to agree to withdraw if and when their paths to the nomination are effectively closed. That decision day should be no later than, say, Feb. 26, the Monday following the contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina,” Romney wrote.
“Left to their own inclinations, expect several of the contenders to stay in the race for a long time. They will split the non-Trump vote, giving him the prize. A plurality is all that is needed for winner-take-all primaries,” Romney noted. “Our party and our country need a nominee with character, driven by something greater than revenge and ego, preferably from the next generation. Family, friends and campaign donors are the only people who can get a lost-cause candidate to exit the race. After Feb. 26, they should start doing just that.”
Trump endorsed Romney for U.S. Senate in 2018 but has since lobbed attacks against him, such as in a 2019 tweet in which Trump referred to him as “a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats!”
Romney, who lost the 2012 presidential election to incumbent Democrat Barack Obama, voted to convict Trump after the House had voted to impeach the president in the wake of the January 6, 202, Capitol riot — the Senate vote occurred after Trump had already departed from office. In 2020, Romney voted to impeach Trump on one of the two articles that the House passed in late 2019.
While primary voting does not begin until next year, Trump has consistently maintained a massive lead over the field of challengers. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been trailing Trump in a distant second place.
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