Mitt Romney’s Senate run pegged as ‘steppingstone’ to challenge Trump in 2020

March 22, 2018 GMT

Mitt Romney’s run for Senate in Utah is stirring up speculation that he’s using it as a springboard for a primary challenge against President Trump in 2020.

Larry Meyers, one of a dozen Utah Republicans seeking the nomination for Senate, has demanded Mr. Romney sign a contract pledging to serve a full six-year term and not enter the 2020 presidential race.

“I’ve signed that contract with the voters and I challenge Mitt Romney to sign that contract and come clean with the voters,” said Mr. Meyers, a former city prosecutor. “Is he willing to serve the full term for the people of Utah or is he using this as a steppingstone.”

Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president and a former Massachusetts governor, is the presumed front-runner for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch.

He denied Utah was part of a steppingstone scheme.

“Look, I’ve got to dispel the notion that my running for president was just a steppingstone to becoming a senator from Utah,” Mr. Romney joked with The Salt Lake Tribune. “I’ve run for president before. I gave it two tries. I’m not running for president again.”

A spokesman for the Romney campaign refused to comment on Mr. Meyers’ contract.

Mr. Romney was a leader of the GOP’s “Never Trump” movement to stop Mr. Trump’s presidential run. He has since made amends with the president.

Mr. Trump has endorsed Mr. Romney in the Senate race.