The strange history of Romney and Trump

A look back at the many ups and downs of Mitt Romney and Donald Trump's relationship.

Posted: Jan 3, 2019 3:17 PM
Updated: Jan 3, 2019 3:57 PM

Family loyalty is a key theme in Donald Trump's business life and political career.

White House staffers come and go at an increasingly chaotic pace, but the President's trusted direct family members seem here to stay. They either quietly work on his behalf in the White House, like his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. Or they loudly have his back, like his sons Eric and Donald Jr., who are steering the family business.

But the Trump era is putting plenty of tension on other Republican families.

Take the Romneys, for example.

Mitt Romney's bold declaration of independence from Trump, issued in a Washington Post op-ed, tees the former presidential candidate and new senator as either the new leader of Trump-skeptical Republicans or the last gasp of resistance to the President within his own party.

Romney didn't exactly say he was opposing Trump on any specific thing, but rather publicly registered his disappointment that Trump hasn't risen to the mantle of the presidency and put everyone on notice that he would be speaking his mind in the future. It wasn't exactly a new thought -- Romney actively tried to sabotage Trump's campaign in 2016 -- but it did offer new evidence of Trump's divisive presidency splintering Republican family allegiances.

Shortly after Trump predictably rounded on Romney on Twitter, the chairwoman of the GOP, Ronna McDaniel, joined in with a tweet of her own.

"POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7. For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive."

That's a stiff rebuke for a new senator from the party's chairwoman, but it's even stiffer when you consider that McDaniel used to be known professionally as Ronna Romney McDaniel. She's Mitt Romney's niece.

McDaniel is the daughter of Mitt Romney's older brother and is from the Michigan side of the family. She went by Romney for years -- it still has cache in Michigan -- until taking over her role at the GOP, at which point she dropped the Romney and just went by McDaniel.

And part of her job as party chair is to keep the party united, even as her uncle is actively stepping into the role of public Trump critic.

That loyalty to Trump should come between an uncle and a niece is not exactly the most surprising thing in the world -- as plenty of Americans probably found in conversation with uncles over the holidays.

And this Romney-McDaniel split is nothing compared to the political divide between Kellyanne Conway, a top presidential adviser, and George Conway, a vehement presidential critic. Those two are married, but somehow he has very publicly attacked his wife's boss on Twitter and actively worked against the presidential agenda his wife is trying to help sell.

The family divides of the Trump era are large and small, and they are visible all over the country. White House adviser Stephen Miller's uncle called his nephew an immigration hypocrite. The son (Bobby Goodlatte) of a retiring Republican congressman (Bob Goodlatte) publicly apologized for his father's role in hearings that questioned FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was involved in the Russia investigation and gave the maximum legal contribution to the Democrat running to replace his father.

Those are very public family feuds, but some of the more interesting ones have been outwardly quiet, but must have included some internal frustrations.

A large part of Trump's political identity is his criticism of past presidents, especially George W. Bush and, to a lesser extent, George H.W. Bush. Trump excessively insulted Jeb Bush during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, which Trump won and Bush lost.

That didn't stop Jeb Bush's son George P. Bush from endorsing Trump in 2016 or from seeking out Trump's endorsement for his re-election last year as Texas land commissioner. Jeb Bush kept up his criticism of Trump, however, which led Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., to pull out of a fundraiser he had been planning to attend for the younger Bush.

George P. Bush was asked on CNN during coverage of the George H.W. Bush funeral if he had forgiven Trump for all the attacks on his father.

"You know, I'm not going to lie that, you know, it hurts. It stings," Bush said. "But, you know, my grandfather, my uncle and my dad, if they taught me anything on politics, you get back up and you fight again. And so, you know, I'm focused on my job in Texas."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845108

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161242006
Mobile741961379
Madison53291732
Shelby38328368
Baldwin38074589
Tuscaloosa36017641
Montgomery34483781
Lee25557263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22454406
Etowah20016517
Marshall18781316
Houston17729425
St. Clair16880358
Limestone16138218
Cullman16050303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14984306
Talladega14191299
DeKalb12971269
Walker12029380
Blount10715192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10161194
Coffee9415192
Colbert9341208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7255201
Russell707865
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5403130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317763
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 50°
Columbus
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 51°
Oxford
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 50°
Starkville
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 52°
We are starting off cold once again this morning with temperatures in the 30's, some below freezing and with a slight north wind it is feeling even colder. High pressure builds back into our area today with more sunshine.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather