September 09, 2022 11:03 AM
About six years after getting bested by the Obama-Biden ticket in 2012, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) implored his old vice presidential rival to vie for the presidency in 2020 amid his dismay with former President Donald Trump, a new book claims.
Romney’s encouragement came at a time when the Democrats had swept to victory in the 2018 midterm elections, riding a wave of antipathy and backlash against Trump. Romney had also cruised to victory, with Trump’s begrudging endorsement of his 2018 Utah Senate seat bid, but was apparently eager to see Trump out of the political picture and prodded now-President Joe Biden to run in 2020.
“At one point [Biden] connected with Mitt Romney, who’d been easily elected to the Senate that night as a rare Trump-opposing Republican. They were warm as Biden cheered Romney’s win,” the book, previewed by the Guardian, recounted. “Then Obama’s old rival got to the point: You have to run, Romney said.”
The reporting came from the book The Long Alliance: The Imperfect Union of Joe Biden and Barack Obama, which is set to be released on Tuesday. The book is written by New York magazine national correspondent Gabriel Debenedetti, who cited hundreds of interviews as the source for his reporting.
Romney’s call to Biden after the Nov. 6, 2018, election came at a time when Biden felt “better than 2016” partly “because Democrats were winning big, at least in local races and in the House,” according to the book.
“Biden spent election night glued to his phone as usual. … He talked to most of the candidates he’d campaigned for, and plenty he didn’t, either to congratulate or console them, or just to catch up,” the book claimed, per the Guardian. “But it was also because of a refrain [Biden] kept hearing, and not always from the most expected sources.”
Debenedetti’s reporting is consistent with Romney’s public attitude toward Trump. Although a vocal detractor of Biden’s policies, Romney has long been an unabashed critic of Trump, frequently lashing out at the former president’s bellicose rhetoric and unencumbered style of politics.
Romney famously opposed Trump in the 2016 Republican primary and, unlike many other heavyweight Republicans, stood by his criticism throughout the duration of the Trump presidency. The former Republican presidential nominee has revealed that he did not vote for Trump in either the 2016 or 2020 elections. Romney also voted to convict Trump twice of impeachment charges.
The Washington Examiner reached out to a Romney spokesperson for comment.
Debenedetti’s book analyzes the kinship between Biden and his onetime boss, former President Barack Obama. Additional excerpts from his book have suggested that the deep bond and public “bromance” Biden and Obama displayed in public was not always warm and fuzzy behind the scenes.
Biden’s rapport with Obama was often teeming with mistrust and misgivings that “Obama’s eggheads saw him as a foolish distraction they couldn’t fully trust,” according to Debenedetti’s book. In the run-up to the 2012 election, Obama’s team ran tests on the possibility of replacing Biden as his running mate with Hillary Clinton.