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Utah Republicans Feel Romney Regret, But Support for Barrett May Earn Him Favor

'We were tricked into believing that he was going to really stand up for the values of Utah...'

Some Utah Republicans said they feel that they were “tricked” into voting for their Senator, Mitt Romney, in 2018.

They question his loyalty to his conservative constituents, KUER reported.

Romney has indeed proven fickle to the Republicans, especially since he voted to impeach President Donald Trump.

Last week, however, the senator promised to consider Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, surprising conservatives and disappointing liberals.

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“He really does seem like a chameleon to me,” said Maribeth Merton, a Republican from Tooele.

Merton, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, voted for Romney in 2018 because the senator also attended an LDS church. She was mostly concerned about his stance on abortion.

Early in his career, Romney was pro-choice, and he said that abortion should be “safe and legal.” Romney said in 2005 that he had changed his opinion, that he was pro-life, and that Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

“My main opposition to Romney now is his stand on abortion and how it keeps changing,” she said. “As an LDS person, which is what he is, I feel like we are pro-life. And he has not always supported that.”

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Dave Evans, a Hyde Park Republican, was disappointed with Romney’s decision to impeach Trump.

“We were tricked into believing that he was going to really stand up for the values of Utah, support our president, support the Republican Party,” Evans said.

On paper, however, Romney agrees with Trump the majority of the time. According to FiveThirtyEight, he votes with the president 81.6 percent of the time.

“It’s not that he’s not conservative, it’s that he’s not loyal,” said Weber State University Political Science Professor Leah Murray. “It’s more of a branding thing than I think it is an actual understanding of Mitt Romney’s positions.”

Sarah Stone, a liberal from Salt Lake City, wrote a letter to Romney in the Salt Lake Tribune, begging him to “not fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court during this election year.”

“Though I tend to vote for liberal candidates, I voted for you for president and Senate. I have always been impressed by your intellect, integrity and public service,” Stone wrote. “I was moved by your speech that justified the vote to impeach Trump. You spoke about doing what’s right and upholding the Constitution, even if it goes against what your political party is pressuring you to do.”

A number of Democrats have been disappointed with the senator’s choice regarding the Supreme Court.

Trump, however, has announced that he has forgiven Romney, Deseret News reported.

“Do you see what’s going on with the Republican Party, how unified the Republican Party is? We’re unified. It’s a beautiful thing to say. Thank you, Mitt,” the president said at a campaign rally Thursday night in Jacksonville, Florida.

“Even Mitt’s on board,” he said. “It’s a good thing to see.”

But this isn’t enough to convince some that Romney has not been unfaithful to his party.

“You’re either on the team or you aren’t,” Evans insisted. “And for the last quite a while, he hasn’t been, in my opinion, on the team.”

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