Sen. Mitt Romney, other Utah leaders not ready to endorse President Donald Trump

DeseretNews.com | 5/25/2019 | Lisa Riley Roche
chrismpotts (Posted by) Level 3
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SALT LAKE CITY — Ask a Republican elected official in Utah if they're endorsing a second term for the sitting president of their own party and the answer should be obvious, shouldn't it?

Apparently not if the president running for re-election is Donald Trump.

Sen - Mitt - Romney - R-Utah - Question

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, answered that question from CNN's Jake Tapper recently by joking he wasn't ready to say yet if he's going to write in the name of his wife, Ann, in the 2020 presidential election, as he did in 2016.

FILE - Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, greets people at the Spike 150 celebration at Golden Spike National Historic Park on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Romney - Laugh

"We'll have to see how she does," Romney said with a laugh.

But when pressed about backing Trump, a candidate he criticized during the 2016 presidential race as a phony and a fraud, Utah's most prominent politician had little comment.

Decision - Front - Way - Romney - Plenty

"I have not made any decision on that front, so we'll wait. This is way too early for that," Romney said. He did, however, have plenty to say about whether the president has failed as a moral leader.

"I think he could substantially improve his game when it comes to helping shape the character of the country," Romney said, reiterating his pledge to speak up when he disagrees with Trump.

People - People - World - Look - President

He also pointed out that he believes "young people as well as people around the world look at the president of the United States and say, 'Does he exhibit the kind of qualities that we would want to emulate?'"

Some other Utah GOP political leaders have also exhibited reluctance to publicly get behind Trump's re-election, initially not responding to questions and when they did, offering little comment or stopping short of an endorsement.

FILE - Gov - Gary - Herbert - Media

FILE - Gov. Gary Herbert speaks to media about having skin cancer removed from his cheek after...
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