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SURIANO: Romney in Senate would balance GOP

Opinions Column: A RINO's View

Last Thursday, former Massachusetts governor and one-time GOP nominee for president, Mitt Romney tweeted that he was “Looking forward to making an announcement on February 15th about the Utah Senate race.” All signs point to him announcing his candidacy for the Senate seat that will be vacant with the retirement of Orrin Hatch. So I will take this time to explain why Sen. Romney would be good for America and for the Republican Party.

Romney’s extensive experience in both the public and private sector will make him an immediate powerhouse addition to the Senate. Before entering politics, Romney ran a successful venture capitalist firm specialising in providing funding to new or expanding businesses. His firm funded major companies, such as Domino’s Pizza and Staples. This kind of real world business skill will be an asset to the U.S. Senate. More than being a businessman, he has experience managing an extremely large and unwieldy organization. Romney saved the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic games from a bribery scandal and financial ruin. If you do not think that is an accomplishment just ask Athens and Rio how the Olympics treated them. He did this all, mind you, for free, simply out of a sense of duty to his country because that is who Romney is — a man who puts his country first. Romney then proved a Republican can win and govern in deep blue states. As Massachusetts governor, Romney brought down the states budget deficit and signed into law a statewide healthcare law which would be dubbed “Romneycare.” This is certainly problematic for conservatives but if we allowed states to experiment with healthcare laws and find what was best for each state like our founders intended the nation to solve difficult problems then the U.S. healthcare system would be in better shape than the Affordable Care Act has left it. All these accomplishments would be more than enough to prove Romney capable of being an incredible addition to the upper house but what has happened after the 2012 election shows why America and the GOP need Romney in the senate.

In the years following Romney’s 2012 election defeat, Romney has shown his character and has been proven right time and time again. The first and most glaring issue where Mitt has been proven right is an issue that sorely needs his help — Russia. In 2012, Romney appropriately called Russia America’s "greatest geopolitical foe". To which former President Barack Obama said, "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back." Romney showed his thoughtfulness and keen understanding of the world while Obama showed why his foreign policy was an absolute failure. In the next four years, Putin would invade Ukraine, support the war criminal President Bashar al-Assad and would interfere with the 2016 election. Romney was proven right again this time about Iraq. Romney called Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq an “astonishing failure,” and by 2015, ISIS had taken a sizable part of Iraq including the key city of Mosul. Once again Romney showed a better understanding of foreign policy than Obama. Moving away from the 2012 election, Romney also showed great character in the 2016 election. Mitt Romney gave a speech chastising President Donald J. Trump, listing his shortcomings as a person and as a candidate. Rarely in America’s two-party system has such a prominent member of a party attacked so forcefully his own party's frontrunner for nomination. Romney could have been forgiven for staying out of politics and retiring to spend time with his enormous family, but Romney opened himself up to attack from a wide portion of his party simply because he thought it was the right thing to do. Agree with him or not, it shows integrity for one to speak up for nothing else besides love of country.

Lastly, Romney in the Senate will be good for the Republican Party because he will balance out Trump’s populism. The GOP has long been divided between a populist wing past seen in the Tea Party but now led by Trump and a moderate business friendly “establishment.” Romney is poised to become a leader of the establishment, and I believe this is for the best. If one faction of the party dominates the other, the party risks losing the dominated faction of voters. Trump, while commanding a key block of working-class voters risks driving away suburban, well-educated voters who have in the past voted Republican. If Romney is seen as a legitimate leader of the party by those voters, Republicans may well keep voters that Trump drives away. This is good for the Republican party as it keeps the largest possible voting coalition. So, if you are reading this, Gov. Romney, I urge you: Run! Run! Run! 

Robert Suriano is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in history. His column, "A RINO's View," runs on alternate Mondays.


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