WASHINGTON — Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, will not run for re-election next year, he said in a video statement on Wednesday.
“I have spent my last 25 years in public service of one kind or another. At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-eighties. Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders. They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in,” Romney said.
He added, “While I’m not running for re-election, I’m not retiring from the fight. I’ll be your United States Senator until January 2025.”
Romney, 76, has served in the Senate since 2019 and previously was the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He was the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012, losing to President Barack Obama who won re-election.Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, during a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget in Washington, on April 26, 2022.Bonnie Cash / Pool via AP file
The Utah senator, whose six-year term expires in January 2025, said he enjoys his work in the Senate “a good deal” and said that the last few years have been “particularly productive.” He listed some of his accomplishments including helping to lead negotiations over the bipartisan infrastructure law, bipartisan gun safety law, the Electoral Count Act and emergency Covid relief funding.
Criticizing both Trump and President Joe Biden, Romney said that “the next generation of leaders must take America to the next stage of global leadership.”
“We face critical challenges — mounting national debt, climate change, and the ambitious authoritarians of Russia and China. Neither President Biden nor former President Trump are leading their party to confront them,” Romney said in his statement.
Romney has been one of the most prominent Republicans to speak out against Trump. He expressed concern about Trump when he first ran for president in 2016 and was fiercely critical of him during his four years in office.
Notably, he was the only Senate Republican to join Democrats and vote to convict Trump during the first Senate impeachment trial in 2020. He was also among ten Senate Republicans to vote to convict Trump during the second impeachment trial in 2021 following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Former Romney aides and advisers expressed their disappointment and a bit of surprise. “He’ll get bored,” one longtime Romney aide told NBC News. “But there’s not much sense in staying in the senate another six years.”