Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) blasted former President Donald Trump for continuing to peddle the big lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, likening the ex-president’s rhetoric to professional wrestling while noting that nothing Trump says is “real.”
Over the weekend, Trump launched a new rally tour aimed at punishing Republicans who voted to impeach him for inciting an insurrection to halt the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory. During Saturday’s rally, which was ostensibly to support a former aide’s primary challenge against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Trump once again falsely claimed he’d won the last election.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Romney—one of seven GOP senators to convict Trump of impeachment in February—was asked by anchor Jake Tapper to weigh in on the president’s stubborn insistence to push falsehoods about the past election.
Noting that former Attorney General Bill Barr recently acknowledged in an interview that the disgraced ex-president’s election fraud claims were “bullshit,” Tapper wondered aloud if Trump’s repeated lies and whitewashing of the Jan. 6 insurrection “undermines American democracy.”
“And if so, do you think more of your Republican colleagues need to speak out?” Tapper added.
The Utah senator agreed that more Republicans need to speak out and that Trump’s stolen election rhetoric is a threat to democracy, noting that autocratic leaders can point to the ex-president’s fraudulent claims as a reason why their countries can’t hold free and fair elections.
Romney, a frequent Trump critic, then went on to reference the ex-president’s stint in pro wrestling to snark that Trump is largely spouting lies because it enthralls his followers.
“This is like WWF, that it’s entertaining, but it’s not real,” he declared. “And I know people want to say, yeah, they believe in the big lie in some cases, but I think people recognize it’s a lot of show and bombast but it’s going to nowhere.”
“Where did he hear that the election had been fraudulently carried out? Did he hear it from the Justice Department? No. Did he hear it from the intelligence community? No.”
— Mitt Romney
The senator reiterated that the “election is over” and “it was fair,” adding that Trump was already “crying foul” about the results before Election Night.
“The question is what were his sources of information?” Romney rhetorically asked. “Where did he hear that the election had been fraudulently carried out? Did he hear it from the Justice Department? No. Did he hear it from the intelligence community? No.”
He then went on to knock Trump for relying on less-than-credible sources to justify his groundless and unhinged claims that he actually won the 2020 election and will eventually be reinstated in the White House.
“So where did he hear it from? The MyPillow guy? Rudy Giuliani? What are their sources of information?” Romney sighed. “It’s pretty clear the election was fair, it wasn’t the outcome the president wanted, but let’s move on.”