Oprah filed 2020 presidential bid with Mitt Romney, book says | ET REALITY


Concerned that the Democratic field was not up to the task of stopping President Donald J. Trump in 2020, Oprah Winfrey approached Mitt Romney with the idea of ​​running for president as an independent, with her as his running mate, according to a biography forthcoming. from the Republican senator from Utah.

Winfrey raised the unusual fine in a phone call she made to Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, in November 2019, according to an excerpt from the book “Romney: A Reckoning,” which was shared with The New York Times.

Romney at least heard the idea. (After all, it was Oprah she was calling.) He “listened to the speech and told her that he was flattered, but that it would have to pass,” writes the author, McKay Coppins of The Atlantic.

Romney aide Liz Johnson declined to comment Monday. A spokeswoman for Winfrey said in a statement that she had urged Romney to run, but not with her.

“In November 2019, Ms. Winfrey called Senator Romney to encourage him to run as an independent candidate,” the statement said. “She was not calling to be part of the ticket and never considered running herself.”

Coppins’ book was based on hours of interviews with Romney, as well as emails, texts and diaries the senator had been saving for potentially writing a memoir. Realizing that he could not be objective about himself, Romney has said that he preferred to have a journalist write about him.

Ms. Winfrey’s interest in running as an independent candidate with Mr. Romney, who was reported Monday by Axiosis one of several attractive elements of the book, which will be published on October 24.

He has known the Romneys since 2012, when I interviewed them at his lake house in New Hampshire while Romney was running for president. Winfrey had also seen Romney at various social events and was “especially fond of him,” according to the book.

Speaking by phone with Romney, Winfrey explained that Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, was preparing to enter the race and had approached her about joining his ticket. Before deciding, she wanted to gauge Romney’s interest.

She doubted Joseph R. Biden Jr. or Pete Buttigieg could beat Trump and was “certain” that Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts couldn’t, according to the book.

Romney responded that her husband would not run for president in 2020, either as a Republican or as an independent, Coppins writes. Romney also politely declined the idea, according to the book.

A Bloomberg aide declined to comment.

Winfrey has sometimes been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate.

In 2018, after she gave a moving speech at the Golden Globes, some were clamoring for her to run. But she said “60 minutes of extra time” that she would not become a candidate in 2020 even though “many rich men called me and told me they would run my campaign and raise a billion dollars for me.”

“I’m actually humbled by the fact that people think I can be a leader of the free world, but it’s just not in my spirit,” she said. “It’s not in my DNA.”

Romney, 76, recently announced that he would not seek re-election in 2024, saying he wanted to make way for a “new generation of leaders.” He strongly suggested that Trump and President Biden should also step down, arguing that neither of them were effectively leading his party to confront the “critical challenges” facing the nation.

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