Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) compared former President Trump’s “dictator” remark to the output of a “human gumball machine,” noting that neither is filtered before coming out.
In an interview on NBC News’s “Meet the Press” with Kristen Welker, Romney said that he was less concerned about the implications of Trump saying he would be a “dictator” on day one and more concerned about the actions he took toward the end of his presidency when asked about Trump’s comment.
“When I was a kid, there were something called a gumball machine. You could put a penny in, and a gumball would come out. It was automatic. There was no filter: Put in the penny, out came the gumball. Donald Trump is kind of a human gumball machine,” Romney said. “A thought or a notion comes in, and it comes out of his mouth. There’s not a lot of filter that goes on. There’s not a lot of, ‘What’s the implication?’ No, no. He just says whatever.”
“I don’t attach an enormous amount of impact to the particular words that come out and try and evaluate each one of them,” Romney said. “I do think you can look at his record as president and particularly in the last months of his presidency and say, ‘This is a dangerous approach. It’s an authoritarian approach.’ That gives me far more concern than him playing to the crowd as he did.”
Trump, in a recent Fox News town hall hosted by Sean Hannity, was pressed on whether he would act like a dictator and exact retribution. He did not respond directly and joked that he would only do so on day one, and added that he would do so to address the border.
Romney — an adversary of the former president who became the first senator in history to vote to impeach a president of his own party — still noted that he was concerned about the potential danger a second Trump presidency would bring.
Everything he has seen, Romney said, suggests a second term in office for Trump would look similar to his last few months of his first term. He said he predicts Trump will be surrounded by less experienced and less restrained individuals who encourage his desire to exact retribution on his enemies.
“Well, I think if you can look at the last few months of his presidency, you’d suggest that that’s the kind of thing you might see: That he would not have the generals around him, as he did last time, people of judgment and experience offering advice, and in some cases, restraining his impulses. Instead, he would have people around him, encouraging his impulses and perhaps adding to them. And I’m afraid you’d find the nation more divided,” Romney said.
“Look, our nation doesn’t need to be divided right now. A campaign based on anger and hate may win at the ballot box temporarily, but it tears the country apart. The other day, the former president said that, that we are at greater threat for what is within. I think that was, in some respects, a self-own because what’s within, if he would become elected president again, is a campaign of retribution and anger and hate,” he said. “That’s not what America is based on. America was based on the idea of ‘In God we trust’ and ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’ [A] divided nation is not the nation America is intended to be.”