Josh Romney having tough time watching 2016 election, still believes in GOP

Josh Romney having tough time watching 2016 election, still believes in GOP (Photo: Heidi Hatch / KUTV)

“I still believe in the Republican party.”

Josh Romney, Mitt Romney’s middle son of five, spoke to a BYU management group Thursday about “lessons from the campaign trail."

Josh worked on his father's presidential campaign in both 2008 and 2012 when he received the Republican Party nomination, working with both the political and fundraising teams.

With 20/20 hindsight, Josh Romney, like his father, is having a tough time watching this year’s presidential election.

Josh Romney knows campaigning is not easy and understands the upcoming stress of debates. He reminisced today of the times he would watch the debates in person – trying to keep a straight face. When he was home with his wife and four children in Utah, he would “be laying on the carpet,” he said. “No one could talk to me; I would lay there and pray for two hours.”

Four years later, and his prayers have been redirected.

“I hope we can remake our brand next time around and be more inclusive.”

He’s looking forward to the next election cycle with new candidates and hopefully a more upbeat message.

We are however living in the here and now where many Republicans have been waiting for former Mitt Romney to endorse a presidential candidate. A tweet from the former governor pushing for Libertarian Gary Johnson to debate wasn't it.

“I just think he wants an open debate and wants other opinions and voices at the debate” Josh said. “I don't think it was an endorsement by any stretch.”

The younger Romney isn't backing anyone either.

”I know who I am not voting for,” he said emphatically. “I’m still trying to make my choice and I may have to write someone in.”

He will show up to vote on Nov. 8 and encourages others who feel disenfranchised to do the same.

“Don't be disappointed. Don't just stay home. We need you to get out and support the great local elected officials we have now.”

Josh Romney works with Gov. Herbert on his economic advisory committee and his re-election campaign. That, he said, is where Utahns can make a difference -- including Congressional races in their own districts.

On the presidential stage, Romney wants to hear the candidates, who are running, to start talking about what he calls “real issues.”

“One thing neither candidate is talking about is entitlement reform or the national debt.”

Romney advocates for balance from both sides and stopping the knee-jerk reaction from Republicans like, “We are trying to drive your grandmother off a cliff and take her benefits -- health care and social security.”

While he doesn’t like to talk about Trump, he doesn’t mind talking about his policy pitch. Romney is not a fan of Trump’s immigration plan and from the sounds of it, would like to tear down Trump’s “big, beautiful wall.”

“What happens to our economy if we deport 12 million people? What will happen at home and where are we sending these people? Talk about a humanitarian crisis.”

Josh Romney is the founder and president of the Romney Group in Salt Lake City, that owns and operates multi-family, office and industrial properties throughout the U.S.

He runs Charity Vision International, which partners with local doctors in developing countries in an effort to establish permanent and sustainable eye care programs. The organization, that has raised funds with his father’s help in the boxing ring, currently performs over 40,000 surgeries annually in 25 countries.

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