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Mitt Romney says he may skip 2020 presidential endorsement

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FILE – In this Jan., 18, 2019, file photo, U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks with reporters, in Ogden, Utah. Romney said Friday, June 7, 2019, that he’s not sure if he will endorse President Donald Trump for a second term and that he may not throw his weight behind anyone during the 2020 campaign. “I don’t think endorsements are worth a thimble of spit,” the Republican former presidential candidate told reporters during an annual gathering of political leaders, wealthy donors and powerful business people in the Utah ski-resort town of Park City. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I stay out of the endorsements.” (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said Friday that he’s not sure if he will endorse President Donald Trump for a second term and that he may not throw his weight behind anyone during the 2020 campaign.

“I don’t think endorsements are worth a thimble of spit,” the Republican former presidential candidate told reporters during an annual gathering of political leaders, wealthy donors and powerful businesspeople in the Utah ski-resort town of Park City. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I stay out of the endorsements.”

Romney wrote in the name of his wife, Ann, on his 2016 ballot and said Tuesday, “I still think she’s doing a fine job.”

The senator said it’s still too early for endorsements but repeated his view that Trump will likely win re-election in 2020 as an incumbent presiding over a strong economy, though “it’s not a sure thing.”

Romney has been one of the president’s fiercest GOP critics at times, though he’s also supported Trump on other issues.

Romney said he opposed Trump’s proposal to impose tariffs on Mexico to force the U.S. ally to stem the flow of migrants.

Trump had set a Monday deadline to impose the tariffs but said Friday that the U.S. may strike a deal to avert them . Many Republicans and businesses have urged Trump to reconsider the plan, which could have enormous economic implications for both countries.

Romney agreed, saying Mexico is a friend to the U.S.

“Punishing Mexico in some way is, in my opinion, a very bad idea. It’s also expensive for Americans,” Romney said.

The former Massachusetts governor does support the use of tariffs on China, saying it has been abusing global free-trade rules.

“President Trump was right to push back hard on China, and I support that effort,” he said.

But he said he would have gathered a coalition of allies to present a united front to the world’s most populous nation. Romney warned against underestimating China, saying it’s an increasingly innovative on technologies like artificial intelligence.

“I don’t think there’s much recognition in the United States about the long-term issues with China,” he said during a speech at the E2 Summit, founded six years ago and now chaired by former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan. “We haven’t laid out a real comprehensive strategy to say, ‘How do we up our game dramatically?'”

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time.. Read More...

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