Mitt Romney Concedes Defeat in GOP Civil War, Admits 2024 Primary Donald Trump's to Lose

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah has conceded that Donald Trump holds the upper hand in the civil war raging in the Republican Party.

Romney has long been a staunch adversary of the former president and voted to convict him in both Senate impeachment trials. This put him firmly in Trump's firing line in a clash emblematic of the split in the GOP.

Romney has stood by his decisions, saying on Tuesday that voting according to his conscience and letting "the consequences be what they" helped him to "sleep at night."

Despite continuing to criticize the former president, the senator has conceded that Trump still has enormous support in the GOP.

"Will President Trump continue to play a role in my party? I'm sure he will. He has by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party," he told the DealBook/D.C. Policy Project conference on Tuesday.

During the virtual event run by The New York Times, he added: "I don't know if he'll run in 2024 or not, but if he does I'm pretty sure he will win the nomination."

Romney said he was "not great at predicting," but pointed to surveys asking GOP voters who should be the party's presidential candidate. If Trump is on the list, the lawmaker said, he "wins in a landslide."

Asked if he would campaign against him, Romney said: "I would not be voting for President Trump, again. I haven't voted for him in the past. And I would probably be getting behind someone I thought more represented the tiny wing of the Republican Party that I represent."

On Donald Trump, Senator Mitt Romney at the DealBook DC Policy Project said: "I don't know if he'll run in 2024 or not, but if he does I'm pretty sure he will win the nomination." #DealBookDC

— DealBook (@dealbook) February 24, 2021

Romney made similar remarks after the election last November, telling NBC's Meet the Press: "He is without question the most powerful voice in our party. He will have an enormous impact on our party going forward.

"I believe the great majority of people who voted for Donald Trump want to make sure that his principles and his policies are pursued. So, yeah, I mean he's not disappearing by any means. He's the, you know, the 900lb gorilla when it comes to the Republican Party."

Several anti-Trump Republican lawmakers have endured criticism from loyalists and censures from state parties. Romney faced censure calls, but Utah's Republican Party defended him and said his positions showed "diversity of thought."

In a conversation with Utah House Democrats on Tuesday, as reported by Deseret News, Romney was thanked for voting to convict Trump and told that history would look kindly on him. He replied: "I hope history looks more kindly on me than many members of my own party."

In Trump's first Senate impeachment trial in February 2020, Romney was the only Republican to vote to convict. In the second trial this month, he was one of seven GOP senators who did so. Ten House Republicans voted to impeach Trump last month.

Trump has not ruled out running again in 2024. Speaking on Newsmax earlier this month, he said: "I won't say yet, but we have tremendous support. I'm looking at poll numbers that are going through the roof."

Newsweek has contacted Romney's office for further comment.

mitt romney at u.s. capitol
Sen. Mitt Romney arrives at the U.S. Capitol for day four of Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial on February 12. He has said that the former president will likely win the GOP nomination if he runs in 2024. Bill Clark/Pool/Getty Images