In an interview with NBC broadcast on Sunday, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah argued that President Donald Trump will remain “the most powerful” voice in the GOP even after he leaves office, The Hill reported.
Speaking with Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd, Romney said that he believes Trump will “have an enormous impact” on the GOP because the people who voted for him want to see his policies implemented.
“He’s not disappearing by any means. He’s the 900-pound gorilla when it comes to the Republican Party.”
Todd pointed out Republicans seem have lost ground in some key areas under Trump’s leadership.
In Cobb County, Georgia, for instance, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden beat Trump by 8 points. When he ran for president in 2012, Romney won the county against then-President Barack Obama by 12 points.
Romney said that Republican Senate and House candidates won in areas where Trump lost, which suggests that “the presidential race was more a matter of a referendum on a person.”
However, the senator acknowledged that his party is struggling with young Americans and minorities and said that he believes suburban women can, once again, become part of the conservative coalition.
“Can we bring back suburban women into our party? I believe so. But we got some work to do,” he stated.
Romney opined that GOP candidates who centered their campaign messaging on policy did well, saying that voters rejected proposals championed by progressive Democrats, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
Romney was one of the few Republicans to congratulate Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, for being projected as the winners of the 2020 election.
Trump has refused to concede the race. Instead, he has made claims of voter fraud and vowed to take legal action.
Romney has condemned Trump’s attempts to delegitimize the election.
In a statement released on Friday, the senator said that Trump has every right to call for investigations into alleged irregularities, but noted that his rhetoric “damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the Republic and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.”
Commentators have taken note of Republicans’ refusal to congratulate Biden and Harris. On Sunday, CNN anchor Jake Tapper said that they are “acting like babies.” Still, the host said that he expects Trump to remain an influential voice on the right after he leaves the White House.