Mitt Romney made the rounds on the Sunday shows this morning. As expected, he was pressed on impeachment and took the opportunity to bash Donald Trump. At one point on Chris Wallace’s show, the host said it sounds like he’s going to vote to convict Trump, and Romney still couldn’t just be upfront, instead choosing to say he wants to hear the defense first. Yeah, I’m sure that’s going to change his mind.
Regardless, another topic also came up regarding who the future of the GOP will be over the next several years. Romney mentioned some names, and be warned, you may want to stop sipping your coffee before reading them. Here we go.
Other names Romney mentioned as potential definers of the GOP brand on CNN and Fox this morning: Gov. Larry Hogan (x2) and Sen. Ben Sasse. https://t.co/zK06KbgTOV
— Zach C. Cohen (@Zachary_Cohen) January 24, 2021
I’m trying to think of three worse names to put out there as the future of the party than Chris Christie, Larry Hogan, and Ben Sasse. Christie and Hogan are northeastern moderates who lack just about everything needed to bring the GOP voter base back to the table. Hogan, specifically, is pro-abortion, pro-gun control, and pro-crony capitalism. He’s like Mitt Romney if Mitt Romney stopped going to the gym. Meanwhile, Ben Sasse is the consummate do-nothing, rattling off statements from his office while never accomplishing anything of value. To the extent that any senator should be considered the new standard-bearer (I’m much more drawn to executive experience), a back-bencher like Sasse is not that person.
One thing these three all have in common is the sudden backbone they get when it’s time to go after their own party. Sasse was always good for an angry letter about Trump, while Hogan waddled to the podium often to express his discontent. Perhaps that’s why Romney likes them so much? You know who doesn’t like that, though? Republican voters don’t like that. They are sick and tired of seeing their own attack each other while giving Democrats a pass. If for no other reason than that alone, all three of the names Romney mentioned are completely disqualified.
As I’ve said before, the GOP has a choice to make. They can overreact to Trump’s tenure and swing back toward the Bush wing of the party, which includes figures like Larry Hogan, or they can pay attention to what their voters actually want. If they do the former, they aren’t gonna win 2022, much less 2024. But the stubbornness of the establishment knows no limits, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they try to push Hogan, Christie, and Sasse as the next generation of leadership. If they are smart, though, they won’t even entertain listening to what Romney has to say on this matter.
(Please follow me on Twitter…@bonchieredstate)