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Mitt Romney hasn’t exactly been hiding his thoughts about how President Trump has acquitted himself as leader of the free world or even the Republican Party.

On the morning of Dec. 4, Trump tweeted his endorsement of controversial former judge Roy Moore in Alabama’s special election, saying he needed Moore’s vote in the Senate. A few hours later, Romney called Moore “a stain on the GOP” and suggested that Republicans would be “losing our honor” if the man accused of pursuing teenage girls won.

In mid-October, Romney took to Twitter to praise Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as a “champion of character” who had been “Lincolnesque” the previous night. He was referring to a speech, delivered by McCain at an award ceremony in Philadelphia, in which he denounced Trump’s governing philosophy as “half-baked, spurious nationalism.”

Now, as Romney plots his path toward running for the seat of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), who plans to retire, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee has positioned himself to take on a leading role as the highest-profile Trump critic among Republicans in Congress — if he wants it. Romney has not announced his intentions, but his close advisers have signaled that he would very much like another turn in the national spotlight.

Analysis | Is Mitt Romney the Senate’s next #NeverTrumper?

Romney, presumed to be preparing for a Senate bid in Utah, has been one of Trump’s loudest critics. The role is his if he wants it in the upper chamber, but does he?


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