At annual Park City summit, Romney predicts wins for GOP in fall, Trump in 2020
June 7, 2018
Mitt Romney on Thursday said he anticipates Republicans will retain control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in November and that President Trump will be "solidly" reelected in 2020.
Romney made the remarks at an invitation-only gathering at Stein Eriksen Lodge marking the first evening of his annual E2 Summit in Park City, a conference that convenes a roster of influential figures to discuss important political issues.
Romney said his confidence in the GOP's chances this fall, and in 2020, stem from a strong economy he anticipates will continue to grow. He lauded the tax overhaul Congress passed in December, saying the cuts to corporate taxes allow companies to spend more money on employee wages and other investments.
He also praised Trump for taking what he sees as "extraordinary" stimulus actions in the first year of his presidency.
As for Trump's chances to win a second term in 2020, Romney said the Democrats are likely to nominate a candidate with views out of the mainstream. In that scenario, it would be difficult to unseat a president presiding over a growing economy, he said.
Romney's remarks at the summit were particularly notable as he campaigns to become Utah's next senator. Romney is in a primary race against Mike Kennedy, a state representative, for the GOP nomination to replace the retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch.
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The summit was not intended to be a campaign event, however, and Romney only briefly touched on the campaign in his remarks, joking that the crowd was likely wondering "why in the world" he's running for elected office again after losing his bid for the White House in 2012.
Other topics Romney addressed included Russia's continued interference in the elections of Western democracies, saying the intrusions represent a concerted effort to weaken democracy, and the role China will play in the coming decades as it seeks to exert its strength.
Romney said he is confident the United States will be able to compete in the changing global economy because Americans are entrepreneurial and innovative. He also indicated the U.S. could continue to ride economic growth for years to come, saying a service-based economy is less susceptible to recession, barring an unforeseen event.
He added that the growing government deficit and interest that accrues on the borrowed money are challenges in the long-term, however.
"I think we're going to be in very good shape in an age that is an innovative age," he said.
It was the seventh straight year Romney has held the summit in Park City, and the event drew a list of notable participants. Among those slated to speak at the gathering were Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, actor Seth Rogen, conservative social scientist Arthur Brooks and New York Times columnist David Brooks.
Speakers that have attended in the past include former Vice President Joe Biden and Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert also spoke Thursday, quickly addressing the crowd. His remarks touched on the state's sterling economic performance.
The summit was scheduled to continue through Saturday.