US Senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney has advocated for a changing of the guard in American politics by encouraging both Donald Trump and Joe Biden to make way for a new generation of leaders. Romney shared these sentiments while discussing his decision to retire from politics.
Romney, aged 76, boasts a 20-year career in US politics, including a term as Massachusetts governor. In recent years, he has emerged as a vocal critic of both President Biden and former President Trump. He intends to continue serving in his current role until the conclusion of his Senate term in January 2025.
In a social media video announcing his choice not to seek re-election, Romney cited age as a factor in his decision. He remarked, “At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-80s. Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders,” emphasizing that he isn’t retiring from the political arena entirely.
Romney also expressed his intention to recruit young individuals into the Republican party, encouraging them to run for office and vote. He believes that both major political parties would benefit from having candidates from younger generations.
Responding to a question from the BBC, Romney endorsed the idea that it would be a “great thing” for President Biden and Mr. Trump to step aside, allowing both parties to select leaders from the next generation. Biden, aged 80, and Trump, aged 77, are currently the leading contenders for the 2024 presidential race within their respective parties.
Romney drew a contrast between himself and some fellow Republicans, positioning himself as representing a “small” and “wise” faction of the party dedicated to policy objectives. He criticized Republican lawmakers aligned with Trump, characterizing their focus as seeking retribution and settling perceived grievances.
Romney was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 but was defeated by the incumbent, Barack Obama. Six years later, he secured a Senate seat in Utah. His prior attempts at securing the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 were unsuccessful. He also served as the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.
In 2020, Romney made history by becoming the first senator to vote to convict a member of his own party when he voted to convict President Trump during his first impeachment trial. He remained the sole Republican senator to do so. The following year, he again voted to convict Trump during the second impeachment trial following the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
With Romney’s impending departure, his Senate seat is likely to be contested by several Trump-aligned candidates who are viewed as potential contenders.