- Sen. Mitt Romney compared former President Donald Trump to an "aging pitcher" on the mound.
- He urged Republicans to choose a "different pitcher," citing the GOP's lackluster midterm results.
- Romney blamed Trump for the GOP's showing, calling him an "albatross" on electoral prospects.
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah said former President Donald Trump is "like the aging pitcher who keeps losing games," blaming him for the GOP's muted performance in the midterms and cautioning against support for him in a potential 2024 presidential run.
"I think President Trump was an albatross on the electoral prospects for some of our candidates," Romney told MSNBC's Saul Kapur. "He helped select some of the people who turned out not to be very effective candidates."
A recording of Romney's comments was played Monday evening on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes."
"I understand that he's going to run for president and announce that tomorrow. It's like the aging pitcher who keeps losing games," Romney added.
"If we want to win, we need a different pitcher on the mound," he said. "And I know there's some fans that love him, but it's time for him to get off the mound, because we have a real strong bench."
The senator has been fiercely critical of Trump since the 2016 election, calling him a "fraud" and saying he was "playing members of the American public for suckers."
Romney voted to convict Trump in both of the then-president's impeachment trials.
In May, he said it's likely Trump would easily become the 2024 Republican presidential nominee if he runs. Trump hasn't declared a presidential campaign, though he said he would be making a "big announcement" on November 15.
Romney's recent comments come as various corners of the Republican party lay blame on each other for the GOP's lackluster results at this year's midterms.
As of Monday evening, Democrats maintained a majority in the Senate and are still contesting control of the House — a disappointing result for Republican leaders who previously believed a "red wave" of GOP votes would sweep the US.
Trump and several of his supporters have blamed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The former president has been calling his allies in Congress and urging them to fault the Kentucky senator, CNN reported.
On the other hand, Trump himself has been on the receiving end of criticism from Republican analysts, pundits, and now leaders like Romney for his apparent effect on voters.
While 93% of candidates endorsed by Trump won their primaries, the former president's endorsement success rate dropped to 80% in the general elections, per data from Ballotpedia. Several high-profile candidates that he backed lost to their Democratic opponents, including senate candidates Blake Masters in Arizona and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, as well as Tudor Dixon, who ran for governor in Michigan.
Notably, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis won re-election by a 20-percentage point margin despite Trump's attempts to undermine him the week before. The former president had publicly mocked DeSantis with the nickname "Ron DeSanctimonious," and held a Florida rally that competed with DeSantis' campaign events on a crucial Sunday before the midterms.