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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.

Confirmed Cases: 15523

Reported Deaths: 734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds100625
Lauderdale73862
Madison72423
Scott65012
Neshoba64639
Jones62928
Forrest56438
DeSoto5427
Rankin4398
Holmes42928
Leake42712
Copiah3124
Jackson30813
Attala29817
Yazoo2814
Newton2714
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Lincoln26329
Harrison2587
Monroe25725
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Lamar2385
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Wayne2041
Pike20311
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Washington1787
Warren17310
Covington1652
Jasper1634
Bolivar16211
Lee1536
Smith15211
Kemper14411
Clarke14418
Lafayette1364
Chickasaw13512
Coahoma1254
Carroll11711
Winston1171
Marion1159
Clay1124
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Tate941
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Yalobusha935
Hancock9111
Wilkinson889
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Tunica553
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Jefferson421
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Quitman330
Tishomingo320
Stone300
Franklin292
Tallahatchie271
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene131
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18018

Reported Deaths: 644
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2239116
Jefferson1837102
Montgomery171040
Tuscaloosa78315
Marshall6939
Franklin5567
Lee54833
Shelby51720
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41118
Chambers35525
Walker3542
Elmore3548
Madison3394
Baldwin2909
Morgan2801
Dallas2723
Etowah25711
DeKalb2483
Lowndes24612
Coffee2361
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Houston2204
Bullock2095
Pike2030
Colbert1842
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Russell1710
Marengo1706
Barbour1671
Lauderdale1642
Calhoun1603
Choctaw1538
Wilcox1487
Clarke1442
Cullman1430
Randolph1277
St. Clair1231
Marion12211
Pickens1164
Dale1150
Talladega1135
Limestone1060
Chilton1011
Greene944
Winston900
Macon824
Henry802
Covington801
Jackson782
Crenshaw753
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Washington706
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Lawrence500
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Conecuh411
Coosa401
Monroe402
Perry390
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Clay272
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151
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