Mitt Romney, who was born and raised in Michigan and was later elected governor of Massachusetts, launched his campaign to represent Utah in the U.S. Senate Friday.
The announcement came in the form of a two-and-a-half minute video that includes Romney touting his leadership of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and his big family. He does not mention his business career, which earned him the label of “vulture capitalist” during the 2012 GOP presidential primary, or President Trump, whom Romney called a “phony,” “fraud,” and “very, very not smart” in a blistering 2016 speech.
He does, however, take a couple of not-so-subtle swipes at Trump in the video, saying, “Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world, Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion. And on Utah’s Capitol Hill, people treat one another with respect.”
Romney’s campaign reportedly has the blessing of retiring Republican senator Orrin Hatch, but his criticism of Trump and loose affiliation with Utah have also won him a few enemies in the state. Just this week, Utah Republican state GOP chairman Rob Anderson criticized Romney for being a carpetbagger. “I think he’s keeping out candidates that I think would be a better fit for Utah because, let’s face it, Mitt Romney doesn’t live here, his kids weren’t born here, he doesn’t shop here,” Anderson told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Now that Romney is in the race though, he is the prohibitive favorite to end up in Washington a year from now, where he won’t be eager for a second helping of frog legs.