Mitt Romney won't run for re-election in 2024, citing age and GOP cynicism

Romney's Senate career will be one-and-done, but he isn't going into retirement quietly

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney stands alone
(Image credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced Wednesday afternoon that he will not run for re-election in 2024. His retirement in 2025 would likely mark the end of a high-profile career in elective politics, including a term as governor of Massachusetts and an unsuccessful run for president as the 2012 Republican nominee. 

Romney, elected to the Senate in 2018, told reporters that at 76, he and other baby boomers are "not the right ones to be making the decisions for tomorrow," that "the times we're living in demand the next generation step up" and decide the future of the world they are inheriting.

Earlier Wednesday, Romney told The Washington Post he also thought another six years in the Senate would be less productive and less enjoyable than his first four years, pointing to the disarray among House Republicans and his lack of confidence in either of the two frontrunners for the 2024 presidential race, President Biden and former President Donald Trump.

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Romney is Trump's most consistent GOP critic in Congress and the only Republican who voted to convict in both impeachment trials, at significant political cost. Romney acknowledged that his "wise wing" of the Republican Party was "very, very small" compared to the "Trump wing." That shift needn't be permanent, he told the Post, but right now "it's pretty clear that the party is inclined to a populist demagogue message."

Romney was more pointed in McKay Coppins' upcoming biography, "Romney: A Reckoning," an excerpt of which was artfully published in The Atlantic on Wednesday. "A very large portion of my party," Romney told Coppins in late spring 2021, "really doesn't believe in the Constitution."

Romney told Coppins that most Senate Republicans privately despise Trump as much as he does but won't say so publicly because of cynical calculations or a more justifiable fear for the safety of their families. He named names. Politics aside, Coppins wrote, Romney — who has a longstanding "morbid fascination with his own death" — also wants to spend his remaining years with his wife and unrealized pursuits.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.