Mitt Romney, Utah senator and 2012 Republican presidential nominee, announced on X (formerly Twitter) that he will not be seeking reelection in 2024. Romney cited dissatisfaction with leadership and the need for a younger generation to take charge.
“On China, President Biden under-invests in the military and President Trump under-invests in our alliances,” Romney said. “Political motivations too often impede the solutions that these challenges demand.”
Romney has criticized former President Donald Trump in public, which is rare among Republican congressman, and strained his relationship with the GOP. Romney was the only Republican member to vote to convict the former president, both for pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Biden’s and for the Capitol riot.
These interactions are the center point of an upcoming book, Romney: A Reckoning, written by McKay Coppins, a staff writer for The Atlantic.
“For two years, I met with Mitt Romney in his D.C. townhome as he grappled with what his party — and his country — were becoming. The stories he told me from inside the Senate were extraordinary,” Coppins wrote on X.
In the video, Romney discussed his age and the need for the rising generation to be involved.
“At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-eighties,” Romney said. “Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders. They’re the ones that will need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in.”
His comment comes in the wake of growing scrutiny about older elected officials continuing to run for office. Donald Trump, 76, and Joe Biden, 80, are both frontrunners for the 2024 election, while Nancy Pelosi, 83, announced Sept. 8 that she will be seeking reelection.
A CBS poll released Monday showed 77% of respondents think there should be a maximum age limit for elected officials, with nearly identical responses for both Democrats and Republicans.
Despite the pressure of the political system, Romney is grateful for his time as a senator and plans to finish out his term.
“It is a profound honor to serve Utah and the nation, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so,” Romney said.
Several Utah politicians have announced their candidacy to fill his seat in the 2024 election, including Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, Rep. John Curtis of Utah and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who retired in 2017.
Romney won 64.09% of the Idaho vote, including 93.29% in Madison County, during his 2012 presidential campaign. Idaho and Utah have very similar demographic makeup, particularly since both have a large population of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
My message to Utahns on my Senate reelection plan: pic.twitter.com/kgbsfIxMeR
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 13, 2023