Mitt Romney Felt Many GOP Members 'Didn't Believe in the Constitution' After Jan. 6 Riots

Mitt Romney Felt Many GOP Members 'Didn't Believe in the Constitution' After Jan. 6 Riots
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan; (inset): Robert Perry

Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential candidate and Utah senator, has always grappled with a preoccupation with his own mortality, as per this report by The Atlantic, which dove deep into his career at the onset of Donald Trump's presidency. Despite Romney's meticulous attention to health and well-being, he has often sensed an impending, potentially violent demise, according to his biographer. This sense of foreboding took a disturbing turn on January 2, 2021, when he received an alarming text from Senator Angus King of Maine: "Could you give me a call when you get a chance? Important." 


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King conveyed alarming information from a high-ranking Pentagon official, indicating that law enforcement was tracking online discussions among right-wing extremists who were planning dangerous activities in connection with one of Trump's rallies in Washington, D.C, that took place before the Jan. 6 riots. The extremists were echoing Trump's baseless claims of election fraud and were ready to take drastic measures to overturn the democratic election results of 2020. To make matters worse, Romney's name had appeared in troubling corners of the internet, raising concerns about his safety.


The Jan. 6 riots apparently marked a turning point for Romney, as per Spectrum News NY1, as he began to question the loyalty of a significant portion of the Republican Party to the US Constitution. He confided in McKay Coppins, a staff writer for The Atlantic, revealing his doubts about the party he had once represented as its presidential nominee. "A very large portion of my party really doesn't believe in the Constitution," Romney disclosed at the time.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Kevin Dietsch
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Kevin Dietsch

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Romney even contemplated leaving the Republican Party, a decision his five sons had already made previously. Furthermore, the senator had considered a third-party presidential run for 2024 but ultimately decided against it, fearing it would benefit Trump more than anyone else. As per the report published by The Atlantic, Romney cared a lot about 'stopping' Trump 'without regard for the political consequences' it would have on his own career.

In another intriguing move, Romney approached Senator Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat from a deep red state, with the idea of forming a third party that would promote centrism and endorse whichever presidential nominee was deemed the least 'stupid,' as per Axios; in fact, the working slogan for this party was 'stop the stupid.' This idea might still be in the works, as Romney was reportedly 'brainstorming' the same, as per Coppins' last conversation with the Utah senator.

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Romney also didn't hold back in expressing his disappointment with fellow senators who prioritized politics over the principles of liberal democracy and the Constitution. Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who allegedly had privately called Trump an 'idiot,' also seemed to bewilder Romney with his public support for the former President. Senators like Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and Ron Johnson, whom Romney viewed as putting politics above constitutional values, were also some politicians whose intentions Romney seemed to doubt.


Romney's apprehensions were not entirely unfounded; he had received warnings about the threats posed by extremist Trump supporters leading up to the January 6 Electoral College vote. Senator King had informed him about online discussions revolving around the use of gun smuggling, bombs, arson, and harm to perceived enemies in Congress, much of which tragically transpired during the Capitol attack. As per reports from September 2023, Romney continues to pay a considerable sum for private security to protect his family from extreme right-wingers in the last two election cycles.

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