Mitt Romney may have issues with Trump — but perhaps he should clean his Utah house first: analyst
Mitt Romney (AFP)

Analyst Phillip Bump cited the recent editorial by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) in The Atlantic that argued once again that former President Donald Trump is destroying the Republican Party. But Bump argued in the Washington Post that if Romney wants to complain about Trumpism he might look at his own home state of Utah.

"President Joe Biden is a genuinely good man, but he has yet been unable to break through our national malady of denial, deceit, and distrust," Romney wrote. "A return of Donald Trump would feed the sickness, probably rendering it incurable. Congress is particularly disappointing: Our elected officials put a finger in the wind more frequently than they show backbone against it. Too often, Washington demonstrates the maxim that for evil to thrive only requires good men to do nothing."

This comes after Utah elected two Republican legislators who scored a Trump endorsement at the last minute. Utah state Reps. John Curtis and Blake D. Moore easily scored a win.

Romney's Senate colleague Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has flown under the radar when it comes to his support of Donald Trump. He started out as a Trump critic, but in April it was revealed Lee was actually working to help Trump overthrow the 2020 election results. Trump was pushing the lie that he won but Lee was frantically sending text messages to chief of staff Mark Meadows begging for a way to spin claims he acknowledged were absurd.

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Yet, people like Lee and the other two Trump champions aren't stacking up to what Utah voters want. Bump cited the past several elections which showed major showings for Republican candidates, except when it came to Donald Trump. In 2016 they voted only "about 20 points more Republican than the national margin," which Bump explained is below the average of what normal red states end up with. In 2020 it was only slightly above the average.

Utah voters are just as skeptical of Trump as Romney appears to be.

The state's large Mormon population takes issues with Trump who has a tendency to swear, is addicted to Diet Coke and hs extra-marital affairs. Voters who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were courted by Donald Trump Jr., who was dispatched to Utah to try and bring the voters into the Trump fold. Some Republicans even thought Don Jr. "may want to convert." The swearing, shouting, shooting, insult machine didn't change a lot of minds, surveys showed. Trump did about 12 points better than in 2016, but that was without Independent Evan McMullin on the ballot to take votes away. Biden got 10 points higher than Hillary Clinton did in Utah just four years later.

Bump closed by suggesting GOP chair Ronna Romney McDaniel "could speak to how LDS voters viewed Trump, though: She is a member of the church. And she might feel a bit more sting from Mitt Romney’s criticism of weak-kneed leaders than others: She is his niece."

Read the full column at the Washington Post.