- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mitt Romney is being hit with the first attack ad of the Utah Senate race Thursday, a slickly produced video that portrays him as a darling of the D.C. establishment and gives him the nickname “flip-flopper Mitt.”

The ad from Republican candidate Larry Meyers slams Mr. Romney, the presumptive front-runner in the GOP race, with accusations of not being conservative enough for Utah voters.

“The D.C. establishment loves Mitt Romney. But Utah voters have a better choice. Larry Meyers,” says the announcer.

It then rips open an old wound for Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and a former Massachusetts governor.

In 2012, President Barack Obama also accused Mr. Romney of being a flip-flopper and having “no core.”

“Flip-flopper Mitt has been all over the map. On issues like the Second Amendment. On issues like life. And the last time Mitt Romney was elected, he stuck the country with the blueprint for Obamacare,” says the ad, the voice-over announcer’s words repeated in text across the screen.

These lines of attack are expected to dominate the race, as it follows a familiar patter of recent GOP primaries becoming conservative versus establishment showdowns.

“Utah voters have a choice. Mitt Romney’s liberal Massachusetts values or qualified, conservative Larry Meyers,” says the ad.

The ad will first run as a web video and later as a TV spot, according to the Meyers campaign.

Mr. Romney, despite his close ties to Utah and summer home there, was branded a carpetbagger by state GOP officials as soon as he signaled interest in replacing retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Mr. Romney quickly picked up an endorsement from President Trump, but that doesn’t guarantee support from Trump voters in Utah.

Mr. Meyers, a former city prosecutor, is running as a “real conservative.”

His campaign is being led by Alex Rountree, who helped orchestrate Roy Moore’s upset win over Sen. Luther Strange last year in Alabama’s GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

Mr. Moore’s campaign stumbled amid accusations that in his 30s he pursued romantic relationships with teenage girls. He lost the reliably Republican seat to Democrat Doug Jones.

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