Romney could back Biden against Trump, biographer says

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Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) biographer, McKay Coppins, said he would not be surprised if the retiring senator backed President Biden over former President Trump in a hypothetical rematch in the 2024 election.

“I would keep an eye out for whether Romney does something like endorse Joe Biden late in the election. I mean, I have no idea, I haven’t talked to him about this. I would not be shocked if he did,” Coppins said in an interview with The Press Box podcast that was released on Monday. 

Coppins, who just published a new biography on Romney, said “there’s no way” Romney would support Trump, when asked what he expects Romney to do in a hypothetical rematch in 2024. 

“It’s a great question. I mean, there’s no way he’ll support, endorse, vote for Donald Trump. The question is just, will he somehow lend his support to Joe Biden? And I don’t know the answer to that,” Coppins said. “Romney is still a conservative. That’s the tricky thing about all this. He feels completely alienated from his party.”

“He thinks that the Republican Party has lost all its way. He feels like there’s no way he could, he could really support somebody like Donald Trump,” he added.

During the two-year process of writing the book, Coppins had unprecedented access to Romney’s private journals and emails. He also conducted weekly interviews with the 2012 GOP nominee for president. 

In the book, Coppins details Romney’s struggle coming to terms with the evolving Republican party. Romney, in 2019, became the first senator in history to vote to convict an impeached president of his own party. In 2021, he voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment, as well.

Coppins stressed that Romney still had fundamental policy disagreements with Biden, but he said Romney had struck up a “weird, kind of, old-guy, mutual-respect friendship with” the president.

In a separate interview with Seth Meyers, Coppins described their relationship and told a story about advice Romney gave Biden once about how to appear less old in public.

“During one of these calls, he told Joe Biden, you know, ‘I’ve been watching some of your public events, and you shuffle when you walk, and it makes you look old. And one of the tricks that I’ve learned is take longer strides. It’ll make you look youthful and energetic.’”

“A few weeks later, Joe Biden called him back and said, ‘Mitt, I took your advice and it worked.’ He said, ‘I gave a speech and I finished, and I was leaving the stage, and I made a point to take big long steps, and I got off, and the first lady was there. And she said, ‘What’s gotten into you?’”