Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney announced this week that he does not plan to seek another Senate term in the 2024 election cycle, citing his age as well as his desire to see a new generation of leaders take the reins of government, according to the New York Post.
Currently 76 years old, Romney referenced the many years he has already spent in politics and noted that given the six-year length of Senate terms, he would be well into his 80s at the end of another stint in the upper chamber.
In a statement declaring his intentions, Romney told Utahns, “While I'm not running for re-election, I'm not retiring from the fight. I'll be your United States Senator until January 2025.”
The lawmaker continued, “I will advance our state's numerous priorities. I look forward to working with you and with folks across our state and nation in that endeavor.”
Speaking to the Deseret News, Romney explained to his constituency, “It is a profound honor to serve Utah and the nation, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so.”
Noting that he will be watching with interest “to see who the people of Utah elect to become our senator,” Romney emphasized his belief that “we need the next generation to step forward.”
Having made his plans for 2024 clear to voters, Romney lamented the lack of movement in Washington on key issues such as the deficit, debt, and immigration.
Keying in on the need for presidential leadership in such realms, the senator opined that “we're not seeing that either from President [Joe] Biden on those issues, or former president Trump.”
“For instance, they both said that they won't touch entitlements. Well, that's where two-thirds of our spending is,” Romney went on. “So, we're not serious about the deficit if we're not going to touch entitlements.”
Romney pulled no punches on the 2024 race for the White House, stating, “I wish President Trump and President Biden would both get out of the way and let younger contenders vie for the support of the American people. I really wish that we could have the nominee of each party be someone who's not a Baby Boomer.”
The news of Romney's planned departure from the Senate drew mixed reactions in the political world, as the Deseret News reported separately, with former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan referring to the man with whom he shared a presidential ticket in 2012 as a “consummate American statesman.”
“His voice and his leadership will be sorely missed. But the Senate's loss is the Romney family's gain,” Ryan added.
Also singing Romney's praises was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who said, “The Senate has been fortunate to call our friend from Utah a colleague these past four and a half years, and I am sorry to learn that he will depart our ranks at the end of next year,” and added that the lawmaker had “made remarkably efficient use of his brief tenure in the Senate to deliver on important promises to people he represents.”
Unsurprisingly, one prominent Republican who expressed unreserved glee over Romney's news was none other than former President Donald Trump – a man the senator voted twice to convict on impeachment charges – who said of his frequent critic, “A big primary fight against him was in the offing, but now that will not be necessary. Congrats to all. Make America Great Again!”
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