Senator Mitt Romney said Republican gains in down-ballot races in last week’s election were an endorsement of conservative principles, while losing the White House was “a referendum on a person.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Romney said it was legitimate for President Donald Trump to pursue any irregularities in the Nov. 3 vote. “But if, as expected, those things don’t change the outcome, why, he will accept the inevitable,” Romney added.
“I’m more concerned about the language that’s used” in describing those challenges, since inflammatory rhetoric can be seized upon by authoritarians around the world, he said.
“It’s important to not use language that could encourage a course of history that’s very, very unfortunate,” Romney said.
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee highlighted the seats picked up by his party in the House of Representatives and in state races, as well as holding its Senate majority pending two run-off votes in Georgia set for January.
“The presidential race was more a referendum on a person, and when it comes to policy we did pretty well,” Romney said. “I don’t think the American people want to sign up for the Green New Deal. I don’t think they want to sign up for getting rid of coal or oil or gas.”
Since his election to the Senate Romney has been one of the few senior Republicans willing to stand up to Trump publicly. He also was the lone Republican in the U.S. Senate to back Trump’s impeachment earlier this year.
In a hyper-partisan America that has left the former Massachusetts governor in a politically lonely place under Trump. But, with Biden in the White House and a potentially fragile majority in the Senate, Romney may find a new relevance.
On Saturday Romney and his wife Ann were the first prominent Republicans to congratulate Biden and running mate Kamala Harris on their victory.
“We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character,” he said in a statement. “We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.”
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