— UPROXX News (@UPROXXNews) February 16, 2018
After months of speculation, which considerably increased after sitting Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch announced he would retire in 2018, Mitt Romney finally announced his bid for the Utah Senate seat in the coming midterms. “I have decided to run for United States Senate because I believe I can help bring Utah’s values, and Utah’s lessons, to Washington,” the onetime Republican presidential nominee said in a video posted to his official Twitter account. “Utah is a better model for Washington that Washington is for Utah.”
Aside from making the official announcement, however, Romney’s nearly two and a half-minute video also took several thinly veiled (but not unexpected) jabs at President Trump’s White House. The former Massachusetts governor never once mentions him by name, but the constant comparisons between Utah and Washington are a big clue — especially when it comes to hotly debated topics like money and immigration:
“Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in Washington. Utah has balanced its budgets; Washington is buried in debt. Utah exports more abroad than it imports; Washington has that backwards. Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world; Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion. And on Utah’s capitol hill, people treat one another with respect.”
Of course the validity of these comparisons remains to be seen, but that’s not the point. Romney is simply trying to make a case for himself as the state’s next U.S. senator. What’s more, it probably goes without saying that Romney has spent much of the past year seemingly campaigning against Trump’s policies and practices. Whether or not any of this is meant as payback for Trump’s reported attempt to embarrass Romney during the presidential transition remains to be seen.