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Romney: Trump Failing on Coronavirus and Election Security

Senator Mitt Romney evidently misread Governor Kristi Noem’s memo about putting on our positive pants. He’s saying positive a lot, but he’s not making happy talk about the Trump Administration’s failure to fight coronavirus:

“Short term I think it’s fair to say we (the United States) really have not distinguished ourselves in a positive way by how we responded to the crisis when it was upon us,” Romney said during an interview with the Sutherland Institute.

Romney, a Republican who has spoken out against Trump publicly on a number of issues, said the “proof of the pudding” is evident in the number of reported Covid-19 deaths.

“We have 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s deaths due to Covid-19, and there’s no way to spin that in a positive light,” he said [Noah Higgins-Dunn, “Romney Slams Trump Administration over U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll—’There’s No Way to Spin That’,” CNBC, 2020.08.15].

In the same interview, Senator Romney appeared to question why Castle Trump is fighting harder against mail-in voting when the far greater threat to electoral integrity is foreign viruses injected into our electronic voting systems:

Romney said that he does not share President Trump’s concern that voting by mail would increase voter fraud. He argued that it may be an even more effective way to prevent fraud than electronic voting systems.

“I don’t know of any evidence that voting by mail would increase voter fraud. My biggest concern has been that there would be some kind of hacking of our voting electronic systems,” Romney said. “Voting machines and tabulating systems would be hacked, either by an American or hacked by a foreign entity. There have been efforts to do so in the past.”

He pointed to Utah as an example of a place that has voted by mail successfully and said he would support providing extra funds to expand mail-in voting practices in other states.

“I think voting by mail is probably more secure, at least in my own view, than electronic voting,” Romney said. “But I would prefer us to provide additional funds to states that don’t have as effective voting systems as we do here in Utah for voting by mail [Terell Wilkins, “Sen. Mitt Romney Talks Covid-19 Aid, Mail-In Voting and More in Sutherland Institute Q&A,” St. George Spectrum & Daily News, updated 2020.08.15].

You can watch Senator Romeny’s full conversation with Sutherland Institute Pres/CEO Rick Larsen here:

Related Mormon Sensibility: Team Trump is trying to win back pious Mormons in swingable Arizona, but some Mormons recognize that Trump acts in opposition to Sanchez’s faith:

Yasser Sanchez has twice worked to defeat Joe Biden’s bids for the vice presidency by building support for Republican candidates among his fellow members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It wasn’t hard.

Now the lifelong Republican finds himself in the surprising position of supporting Biden — and repelled from his party, he says, by President Donald Trump.

“We’re taught to be steady, to be basically the opposite of the way he’s lived his life,” Sanchez said.

…Kathy Varga, a 39-year-old speech therapist from Mesa… reluctantly voted for Trump in 2016 because she was worried about Democrat Hillary Clinton putting liberal justices on the Supreme Court. Now Varga says he believes Trump is threatening government institutions and the Constitution. She plans to vote for Biden, even though she disagrees with many of his policies, because “the most important thing right now is to unify the country” [Jonathan J. Cooper, “Mormons Cool to Trump Are Finding New Influence in Arizona,” AP, 2020.08.16].

More than 200 Republican Arizona Mormons have posted an open letter expressing their faith-based opposition to four more years of Trumpocracy:

President Trump is the antithesis of so much the Latter-day Saints community believes. Servant leadership, kindness, honesty, acceptance, family, and respect for all are core tenets of who we are and what we stand for.

…Trump exploits our anxieties in the worst way — fanning division, fear, and xenophobia. He manipulates America’s problems for his personal benefit rather than inspiring us to solve them. He weakens critical government institutions and routinely imperils our Constitution by placing himself above the law.

In response, we will vote for Joe Biden, or a third party candidate, or leave our ballot blank in protest. None of us can justify voting for Donald Trump because, in our opinions, the harm he does to our civic culture outweighs any policy benefits we might temporarily gain [Bob and Christi Worsley et al., “A Response to the ‘Latter-Day Saints for Trump’ Rally in Mesa, Arizona,” Medium, 2020.08.12].

Mormons, Christians, secular humanists, policy wonks—if you have values of any sort, Donald Trump likely violates them. Vote for effective pandemic response, secure elections, family values, and common decency—vote for someone other than Trump.


  1. Chris S. 2020-08-16

    Is Castle Trump anywhere near Castle Noem? Or is it merely Fortress Noem until she gets the taxpayer-funded alligator-filled moat installed?

  2. Sam2 2020-08-16

    Romney nothing by a sore loser. Needs to grow-up and get over it.

  3. jerry 2020-08-16

    Lack of election security is the reason for the Census to quit early. Who will it impact in South Dakota, guess? Native residents, as usual. Ethnic cleansing still exists.

    “WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Census Bureau unexpectedly announced it will end 2020 census field operations early, a decision that will disproportionately hurt Native American tribes that are already historically undercounted, hard to reach and rely on accurate census data for lifesaving federal dollars.

    The agency slipped the news into a press release last week: “We will end field data collection by Sept. 30, 2020. Self-response options will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing.”

    That’s a month earlier than the Census Bureau ― and any organization focused on a strong census count ― planned for all year.”

  4. Loren 2020-08-16

    Refresh my memory. Why is the SD delegation afraid to say anything? Can’t be because they are afraid of losing to a Democrat, especially uncontested Dusty. Thune’s father passed at age 100, a true American hero, WW II ace, teacher, mentor and all around good guy. How in the name of (pick a deity) did he spawn a spineless wimp that is afraid of a TWEET? Rounds couldn’t find his core belief system if someone turned him inside out. Oh well, I do like the sound of crickets. !@#%^&*

  5. mike from iowa 2020-08-16

    Leave us face reality, if Biden wins, wingnuts will be the party of no like they did when Obama was legally elected twice. Obstructionism knows no bounds when a Dem is in the WH. Simply put, wingnuts will go out of their way to make Biden fail, even if they don’t control any part of Congress. Their long term agenda plans rest with all the right wing, unqualified Justices they were able to place w/o any Dem input. McCTurtlefartface explained this all before how intends the courts to run America when wingnuts are out of power.

  6. Jake 2020-08-16

    Romney is one of mighty few prominent GOP people with any balz to speak up about Trump and his 3+ years of tearing down American standards of decency and creating chaos. “Draining the swamp” might have been a good slogan but his reality shows that CHAOS is more important to him than anything. Perhaps the passing of his brother (could it have been Covid 19?) will sober this maniac a little, but it seems his close hencemen have all got the same disease!

  7. o 2020-08-16

    I think we have set the bar too low; our idea of “courage” is diluted to the point that speaking up against bad governance meets this ever-lowering criteria. This is being decent (honest) — the barest level of decency. It is what we ought to expect of any person, Republican, Democrat, Independent, or apolitical.

    I make this point to portray those who say silent in the proper perspective; those who choose not to speak up in objection to what President Trump (or any leader for that matter) is doing wrong is despicable.

  8. mike from iowa 2020-08-16

    Rounds couldn’t find his core belief system if someone turned him inside out.

    Goes without saying most wingnuts are the same way, Loren. Apt description. Thanks.

  9. Jake 2020-08-16

    “O”, I get your point,it’s right on, but taking it further the GOP politicians (other than Romney) are so ingrained in being part of the “Team” concept they fall into the party bosses behind the scenes who love the lock-step mentality of following the leader. Dissension in the GOP ranks is intolerable to their power when they hold it. They aren’t afraid to lie to obtain the power it seems.

  10. o 2020-08-16

    Jake, I also think “team” is generous; it has become a cult, a cult of personality, a death cult. I’m pretty old, so I remember when the difference between conservatives and liberals was more about how to get to surprisingly similar ends (albeit through drastically different pathways), but now elements that had no place in either paradigm are entrenched in conservative dogma. Regan, as the first real non-policy/dogmatic president I can remember, charted this pathway.

  11. Debbo 2020-08-16

    I don’t know if it’s even appropriate to refer to the GOP as a “political party” now. Even after cult leader Dirty Donny is gone, they’ll still be more like an extremely large organized crime syndicate. They’re not concerned with governing, which they’ve been terrible at since Eisenhower. The GOP’s focus is power for the purpose of self enrichment.

  12. jerry 2020-08-16

    Ruh oh, Looks like Ms Pelosi is gonna call all the House members back to deal with this Post Office Scandal. That means that all the QANON party will be having to defend their lack of caring for the folks back home. Watching Dirty Johnson squirm a little might do wonders on who he is supposed to represent.

  13. Jenny 2020-08-16

    The GOP has a lot of work to do, since they’ve made themselves the Party of Hate and racism now. It’s going to take them a long time to heal themselves and change their brand.
    What I’ve been saying for awhile now is that today’s republicans really are yesterday’s racist democrats.
    I’ve never seen such a cult following for a man that preaches Hate. Trump has made me leery of politics. Politics to me is about improving people’s lives not making them feel bad about themselves and feeling ashamed. Trump has brought all the racists out of the woodwork and that has scared me. I don’t want to have redneck racists in my neighborhood or in my town. I don’t want to see suicide rates go up for LGBTQ kids or for people In general. Hate increases mental illness which is why suicide rates have increased. It’s a sad country today. We need caring leadership more then ever.

  14. jerry 2020-08-16

    Politics are good, cults are bad. Vote Biden and as much blue as you can.

  15. grudznick 2020-08-16

    Cults are bad. Cults are very bad. Vote for Mr. Biden, and some Conservatives with Common Sense.

  16. Loren 2020-08-17

    “Conservatives with common sense?” Is that a trick sentence? Years ago, I was urged to accept the idea that there was such a thing as “compassionate conservatism.” Not falling for it again! ;-)

  17. Donald Pay 2020-08-17

    Back in the day, Grudz, I did vote for some common sense Republicans. My first election I got to cast a vote for Ken Stofferahn. In his first run for Congress, I voted for Larry Pressler. Ken eventually switched parties. Pressler, well, he was usually good on water issues, but I soured on his other positions. I voted for Republican county commissioners in Hughes County and Republican county officials in Pennington County. It all depended on their positions on issues. The problem is it’s hard to find a Republican with common sense these days. Maybe you could provide some examples at the federal, state and local level.

  18. Jake 2020-08-17

    Don, I too share your position and former attitude toward the Republican ‘party’. But when I saw the way their campaigning has changed, I changed. The way they “Swift-Boated” John Kerry and so horribly treated the former VA Administer (a quadraplegic vet from ‘Nam) and other campaign low-blow dirty tricks and with the lowering of the bar we as a nation ended up a Trump.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-17

    Sam, nothing in Romney’s comments smells of sore-loserdom; he offers an objective assessment of the federal government’s failure to control coronavirus.

    As demonstrated by his implementation of Romenycare in Massachusetts, Romney is a bit more interested in practical and effective policy to address public health than the current unqualified occupant of the White House.

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