Romney says Trump should 'follow every legal option he has,' but choose words 'carefully'

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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has no problem with President Trump challenging the 2020 election results in court, but said that he should tone down his public rhetoric.

Romney noted in a "Fox News Sunday" interview that he considered challenging the 2012 election results, and while he ultimately decided not to, he does not begrudge Trump for taking a different approach, only for how he has behaved.

"I think it is appropriate for the president to make sure that the vote count has been done properly, to carry out recounts where it’s a very close contest, if there are irregularities alleged pursue those and to follow every legal option he has. That’s what you’d expect of a president in a setting like this," Romney said. "At the same time, I think it’s important to choose one’s words carefully because the eyes of our children are upon us, the eyes of the world are upon us."

Romney went on to say that "it’s important for the cause of democracy and freedom that we don’t allege fraud, and theft, and so forth, unless there’s very clear evidence of that," stating that the president – so far – has not presented enough evidence to back that up.

Having said that, Romney predicted that if Trump pursues every avenue and still comes up short, the matter will be settled and Trump will concede.


"I think there will be a peaceful transfer of power if there's a change in leadership," Romney said. The Utah senator made clear, however, that this would not happen until January, and again said that Trump's challenges need to be seen through to their conclusions.

"We are a nation of laws, we allow for recounts, we investigate irregularities," he said.

Romney, the first Republican senator to publicly congratulate Biden, said the 2020 election still provided a reason for Republicans to celebrate as the GOP had significant wins in state houses, gained ground in the House of Representatives, and appear to be maintaining control of the Senate.

"Conservative principles are still on the ascendency in this country," Romney said, adding that "conservatives like myself are going to continue to fight for conservative principles."

Among those anticipated fights is what to do about health care. 

"ObamaCare’s not working, we’re going to have to make some changes there," Romney said. The Affordable Care Act's immediate future could be decided in the near future, as the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week over whether it should remain in place as is.

Romney also said Americans oppose left-wing initiatives such as the Green New Deal.


The Republican does not, however, expect fights over the confirmation of Biden Cabinet selections, unless they are extreme.

"A president ought to be able to appoint his own Cabinet unless they’re really out to lunch," he said.

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