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: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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