Republicans opposed to former President Trump were dealt a blow on Wednesday, when Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said he would not seek reelection.
Romney issued a statement announcing his intent to retire at the end of his current term in order to hand the reigns to the next generation.
“I have spent my last 25 years in public service of one kind or another. At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-eighties,” Romney’s statement said. “Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders. They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in.”
Romney told The Washington Post that part of his decision is the likely scenario where we’re “going to have either Trump or Biden as our next president. And Biden is unable to lead on important matters and Trump is unwilling to lead on important matters.”
Romney was elected in 2018 with 63% of the vote, but faced a challenge in Utah state House Speaker Brad Wilson, who is running for the seat with the backing of dozens of conservatives from the state.
He told the media he does not plan to endorse anyone as his replacement.
“I don’t intend to make endorsements,” Romney said, adding the current options “aren’t worth a bucket of spit.”
Democrats Lament, Trump Mocks Romney Decision
Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will “miss him” in response to hearing the sudden announcement.
CNN commentator Van Jones pleaded with Romney to stay while on air, saying, “Please don’t go man, we need you to stick around.”
Trump, meanwhile, gloated in his typical all-caps style.
“MITT ROMNEY, SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS PIERRE DELECTO, WILL NOT BE SEEKING A SECOND TERM IN THE U.S. SENATE, WHERE HE DID NOT SERVE WITH DISTINCTION,” Trump wrote. “A BIG PRIMARY FIGHT AGAINST HIM WAS IN THE OFFING, BUT NOW THAT WILL NOT BE NECESSARY. CONGRATS TO ALL. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”