Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) pleaded with his own party’s decision-makers not to repeat what he perceived as the failures of the 2016 GOP primary in an opinion piece that was published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Romney claimed that Republican megadonors and influencers will need to do something they didn’t do in 2016: persuade candidates they support to agree to withdraw if and when their avenues to the nomination are closed, according to the 2012 Republican nominee for president.
Romney went on to announce the final date for the decision would be necessary “no later than, say, Feb. 26, the Monday following the contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.”
The Utah native went on to explain why it would be otherwise tempting for candidates without a real shot at winning to stay in the race:
“There are incentives for no-hope candidates to overstay their prospects. Coming in behind first place may grease another run in four years or have market value of its own: Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum got paying gigs…” Romney wrote
“Left to their own inclinations, expect several of the contenders to stay in the race for a long time. They will split the non-Trump vote, giving him the prize. A plurality is all that is needed for winner-take-all primaries.” he continued.
Romney ended by making a subtle jab at Trump and a plea to donors and party elites:
“Our party and our country need a nominee with character, driven by something greater than revenge and ego, preferably from the next generation. Family, friends and campaign donors are the only people who can get a lost-cause candidate to exit the race. After Feb. 26, they should start doing just that.” Romney concluded.