Romney Called Out Trump for Refusing to Guarantee 'Peaceful Transfer of Power' and People Are Not Having It
The Republican nominee in the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney, is one of the few Republican senators to notably break with President Donald Trump.
Romney has denounced Trump's rhetoric before and famously voted to convict the President for one of the articles of impeachment against him in the Senate trial earlier this year.
But with the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week, Senator Romney has reminded Americans that he is still a Republican.
Most Senate Republicans have completely reversed the position they took when former President Barack Obama nominated a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, asserting that it was too close to the 2016 election.
With Ginsburg dead only six weeks before the 2020 election, Romney has since said that he would consider Trump's nomination, despite its proximity to the election, potentially assuring yet another Trump Supreme Court Justice.
He issued a statement on Twitter.
My statement regarding the current Supreme Court vacancy: pic.twitter.com/6YO0dPWWXc
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 22, 2020
Days later—in a White House Press Briefing—Donald Trump wouldn't commit to a peaceful transition of power if he were to lose the 2020 election to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transition of power after the election: "Well we're gonna have to see what happens." pic.twitter.com/UHQW7KdQj4
— The Recount (@therecount) September 23, 2020
Amid reports that the Trump campaign was considering a scam tactic to retain power even in the face of a loss, Trump said that when it came to accepting election results:
"Well we're gonna have to see what happens."
The Presidents' historical willingness to cede power to a successor is a key component in the longevity of American democracy. Trump's refusal to commit to accepting election results sparked outcry.
Romney issued a statement denouncing it.
Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus. Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) September 24, 2020
Romney called Trump's words "unthinkable and unacceptable," invoking Belarus—where citizen protests continue against an election largely believed to be rigged.
Romney's unequivocal rebuke of Trump's statements seemed at odds with his willingness to confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee.
Respectfully, Senator, you are not helpless. You have leverage. Your #SCOTUS vote. Don't want us to lose our democracy? Don't give up your #SCOTUS vote so easily. Speak the only language @realDonaldTrump understands: strength. No peaceful translation pledge, no vote. https://t.co/gYpwN6wqo2
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) September 24, 2020
“And that's why I'm supporting a SCOTUS pick that could make a peaceful transition of power impossible." https://t.co/ovtsozEhbe
— Kashana (@kashanacauley) September 24, 2020
"anyway, i vote aye on the confirmation of justice jeanine pirro" https://t.co/1GTduK1C9g
— Christopher Hooks (@cd_hooks) September 24, 2020
And yet you support him rushing to fill a SCOTUS seat as soon as possible https://t.co/veK1HO3kX9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 24, 2020
maybe don't help him add another lifelong judge to the highest court then you dumb bitch https://t.co/PH7pxATKeb
— 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗯 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗼𝗻 (@calebsaysthings) September 24, 2020
Says the guy who yesterday told us he's open to voting for said president's Supreme Court nominee https://t.co/XyHGvMtZs8
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) September 24, 2020
Trump's comments led others to emphasize the importance of the election and to prepare for his refusal to vacate the office.
Over and over again, this most disgracefully authoritarian, narcissistic, and purely selfish President makes statements like this, and those in the GOP hierarchy refuse to condemn it. History will not forget or forgive. https://t.co/Eze01MCYj4
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) September 24, 2020
Anybody who thinks this scumbag isn't a fascist is in denial https://t.co/BnRsgIvFeF
— Glorious720p🖤 (@WavesGlorious) September 24, 2020
In one day, Trump refused a peaceful transition of power and urged the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice to hand him an election if the results are contested.
This is fascism, alive and well in the Republican Party. https://t.co/UZ5lGjtrnS
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) September 23, 2020
Trump said on Wednesday that he believes the Supreme Court will end up ruling on the 2020 election results.