In the beginning of September, U.S. senator Mike Lee (R-UT), was regarded by conservatives to be firmly and steadfastly on their side, posted on Twitter that he'd received public support from nearly all Republican Senators to reelect him.
What's the missing item on this list? Conservative veterans like Ted Cruz? No! People like Lisa Murkowski? No! Game players like Mitch McConnell? No!
There’s no Mitt Romney support. Instead, in the absence of a vote for Lee, Romney has de facto endorsed the 2016 independent presidential candidate, Evan McMullin. He stopped talking about his indefinable belief in the notion that Trump has been manipulated by Putin for long enough to appreciate this fact.
McMullin appears to represent himself as a Man For His People Of My State, even though he's spent the majority of his adulthood in Washington D.C., earning money from the taxpayers.
The reason Romney is refusing to endorse Lee is a bit of an unanswered question. According to a Salt Lake City newspaper:
“In this case, Romney’s choice not to endorse an incumbent Republican likely reflects the fact that he and Mike Lee have different bases of support among voters and different visions for the future of the Republican Party,” he (Chris Karopwitz, co-director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University) said.
Romney and Lee have been on the opposite sides of several major votes, including the Donald Trump impeachment trials, infrastructure bill and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
But the two senators have been together on other issues such as voting against the Inflation Reduction Act and condemning President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.
There is a possibility that something other than Lee probably getting more applause when he's presented during an BYU match than Romney is the reason Romney hasn't endorsed him. A possible explanation:
Romney is a Republican who forever believes that regardless of how many times the Democrats and their media lapdogs have tricked him, they'll not trick him this time. But they won’t ever play fair.
Then, consider the idea that to ensure that the money flows through their bank accounts from liberal partners, those who are professional NeverTrumpers (Lincoln Project and the like) must have at least one candidate in 2024 against either Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, or both. Will this be McMullin? Most likely not even if he did defeat Lee on November 1, which he likely will not. Liz Cheney? It's not likely. This comes from Romney himself.:
“I’m not going to encourage anyone to run for president. I’ve done that myself, and that’s something I’m not doing again. I don’t know if she really wants to do that. She would not become the nominee if she were to run. I can’t imagine that would occur,” Romney told the Deseret News on Thursday.
Cheney, he said, might run for other purposes but “I’m not in collaboration with that effort.”
It's true that Romney declared that he would not run again. However, if enough insiders with enough money, and sufficient media, were able to placate and make a way for him to campaign with the slogan “only you can stop Don or Ron,” do you think he’d resist? Naturally, it would be hard.
Romney has declared the fact that he is an outlier and is not part of the Republican Party but rather “muh PRINCIPLES.” This is ironic, considering that he has endorsed a grifter without actually recommending one suggests he's more skilled in being tricky than standing firm.