Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday explained his concerns about Donald Trump winning reelection next November, while also not excluding the possibility that he could vote for Joe Biden in a head-to-head race between the two.
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Romney, a frequent critic of the former president, was asked to weigh in on Trump’s recent comments that he would act as a dictator only on Day 1 of a possible second administration to protect the U.S. Southern border.
But Romney said it’s Trump actions that give him more pause rather than his words.
“Donald Trump is kind of a human gumball machine, which is a thought or a notion comes in and it comes out of his mouth. There’s not a lot of filter that goes on,” Romney said.
He continued: “I do think you can look at his record as president, and particularly in the last months of his presidency, and say, ‘This is a dangerous approach. It’s an authoritarian approach.’ That gives me far more concern than him playing to the crowd, as he did.”
So far, Romney hasn’t offered support for any of Trump’s Republican opponents who trail him by double digits in the polls, but he says there’s good reason for that.
“Well, because if I endorsed them, it would be the kiss of death,” he said. “I’m not going to do that.”
Romney sees former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley as the leading candidate who has a shot at defeating the former president, even though he concedes her chances are still slim.
The Utah Republican, who was the GOP nominee for president in 2012 but lost the race to then-President Barack Obama, said he would like to see retiring Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) be the Democratic nominee, claiming he’s a better candidate than Biden.
Manchin, who announced his decision to retire at the end of his current term, has not ruled out running for the White House, and is also reportedly being considered as the person to lead the No Labels third-party ticket.
Still, Romney appeared open to the possibility of voting for Biden in a race between him and Trump, after noting that because he votes in Utah, a reliably Republican state who would support Trump, his choice wouldn’t really make a difference.
“In my view, bad policy we can overcome as a country we have in the past. Bad character is something which is very difficult to overcome,” Romney said.
Romney has previously said he didn’t vote for Trump in 2020.
During the interview, Romney also said he would not support a formal impeachment inquiry into the president unless the GOP produces more evidence to support their claims that Joe Biden sought to benefit his family by promoting his son Hunter’s foreign business interests when he served as vice president. Romney added that Congress shouldn’t impeach “someone because of the sins of their kids.”
“If I were the House, I’d vote against it unless they were able to bring forward evidence that suggested there were a high crime or misdemeanor that had been committed,” Romney said. “But so far, that hasn’t been the case.”