Republican candidates in 2024 should focus on the economy and steer clear of social issues, after last night’s disappointing results, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney said Wednesday.
“I think we perform best when we talk to people about the cost of living, and the fact that under President Biden, the cost of living has gone way up, their incomes have not gone up with it. When we're talking about people's lives, we win,” the Utah Republican told CNN’s Manu Raju. “When we're talking about some social issues, they can become highly divisive and we end up not doing as well as we could have.”
Romney acknowledged there is “no doubt” that abortion will still be a key issue next year, noting that they "each can describe our personal views and what we want to do on issues of significance,” but he still emphasized the economy as the focal point of their messaging.
“I think we're winning when we’re talking about the economy, when we're talking about the cost of living,” he said. “And when we're not talking about that and we're talking about the election and 2020 or talking about other highly divisive issues, it can end up being pretty difficult for us.”
However, Romney doesn’t think that Republicans’ poor showing in this year's elections are a signal of what’s to come in the 2024 presidential election.
“I don't really think that the kinds of election results that we saw last night translate terribly well into President Biden's reelection effort,” he said. “I think President Biden is overwhelmingly going to be judged on the basis of how people feel about their personal economy, about the cost of living, and I think abortion is going to be a big issue in states’ ballot initiatives and so forth, but at the national level, I think it's going to be about the economy.”
Romney added, “I think Trump can absolutely win. I think the polls are showing that if the election were held today, Trump would win.”