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Romney’s Former Traveling Press Secretary On Romney’s Vote: ‘Motivated By Bitterness And Jealousy’
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) stands with traveling press secretary Rick Gorka (L) aboard his campaign plane on August 29, 2012 en route to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Rick Gorka, the former traveling press secretary of Sen. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign who now serves as a communications director for the Republican National Committee, stated that Romney’s vote to convict President Trump on the abuse of power impeachment charge was “motivated by bitterness and jealousy.”

Gorka tweeted, “I believe Mitt Romney is motivated by bitterness and jealousy that @realDonaldTrump accomplished what he has failed to do multiple times. His desire to pander to the chattering class has gotten the best of him … again.” Gorka continued, “These are the same people that hated Mitt in 2012 and they will hate him again when they are done with him. It is sad to see that Mitt has not learned the lessons from 2012. Now he has betrayed his Party and millions of voters.”

Gorka was not the only person close to Romney to take issue with his decision; Romney’s niece, Ronna Romney McDaniel, who serves as the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, tweeted, “This is not the first time I have disagreed with Mitt, and I imagine it will not be the last. The bottom line is President Trump did nothing wrong, and the Republican Party is more united than ever behind him. I, along with the @GOP, stand with President Trump.”

Romney’s statement explaining his decision to vote “guilty” on the Democrats’ first article of impeachment, “Abuse of Power,” read in part:

This verdict is ours to render. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfilled our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the President committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

Yes, he did. The President asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The President withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. The President delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The President’s purpose was personal and political.

Accordingly, the President is guilty of an appalling abuse of the public trust. What he did was not “perfect”— No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security interests, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.

In 2016, during the presidential campaign, Romney and Trump traded barbs. As Politico noted:

Mitt Romney called Donald Trump a “fraud” and “phony” whose words and actions are “degrading” to women, and whose policies would trigger a recession, make America less safe and foster an era of “trickle-down racism.” Trump labeled Romney a “stiff” and a “catastrophe” who had “choked like a dog” when he ran for president in 2012.

Romney also called on the top three GOP 2016 presidential candidates to release their tax documents, accusing Trump of “dodging and weaving” on the issue, and adding, “We’re gonna select our nominee. We really ought to see from all three of these fellas what their taxes look like to see if there’s an issue there. I think in Donald Trump’s case, it’s likely to be a bombshell.”

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