WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC4 News) – Utah Senator Mitt Romney joined a Black Lives Matter march Sunday and on Monday morning was targeted by President Donald Trump in a tweet. It’s the latest chapter in an ongoing feud between the two prominent Republicans.
Senator Romney posted photos from the march and told a Washington Post reporter his participation was about finding “a way to end violence and brutality, and to make sure that people understand that black lives matter.”
On Monday morning President Trump sent a Tweet of the video and appeared to mock Romney, saying “Tremendous sincerity, what a guy. Hard to believe, with this kind of political talent, his numbers would “tank” so badly in Utah!”
Jason Perry, the Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, says that assertion is simply not true.
“The reality is Senator Romney’s numbers have not gone down,” Perry told ABC4 News. “They have not tanked in any way and I think as we look at what’s happened because of these marches, the messaging he’s sending out is going to resonate in the minds of Utahns so not only did the numbers not go down, I think they’re going to go up.”
Senator Romney and President Trump have traded criticisms since March of 2016 when Trump was a candidate.
“He inherited his business. He didn’t create it,” Romney said in a speech March 3rd, 2016. “And whatever happened to Trump Airlines? How about Trump University. And then there”s Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Streaks and Trump Mortgage. A business genius he is not.”
Then-candidate Trump fired back by calling Romney “a disaster” of a presidential candidate.
“You can see how loyal he is,” Trump said at the time. “He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees’ and he would have dropped to his knees.”
Romney was the only Republican Senator to vote for conviction at Trump’s impeachment trial which angered the President’s supporters but Perry expects Utah Republicans to support Romney’s march.
“Mitt Romney is looking at this issue and many others through a Utah lens,” Perry said.