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].
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.