Romney is a loser. Most Republican leaders were silent or supportive of President Donald Trump's public call for another foreign government, China, to investigate his political foe, while a handful voiced concern that the president was trying to enlist a rival power in his reelection effort.
Several House and Senate leaders stayed mum Friday as Trump escalated the controversy that has fueled an impeachment inquiry and plowed through another norm of American politics. The quiet continued as House Democrats released a trove of text messages showing U.S. diplomats conducted a campaign to push Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination to face Trump next November, and Biden's son, Hunter.
Foreign interference in elections has long been viewed as a threat to U.S. sovereignty and the integrity of democracy, and soliciting foreign help in an election is illegal. But Trump found support in his willingness to openly challenge that convention. Vice President Mike Pence made clear he backed the president and believes he is raising "appropriate" issues. Other allies agreed.
"I don't think there's anything improper about doing that," GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said of Trump's call on China to investigate the Bidens.