Sen. Mitt Romney’s 2012 super PAC formally shuttered this week, nearly eight years after his presidential campaign failed.
Restore Our Future’s termination report filed with the Federal Election Commission formalizes the Utah Republican’s waning influence in the national GOP and may signal the lackluster fundraising potential of ‘Never Trump’ Republicans in 2020.
At its height, the group raised and spent more than $150 million during the 2012 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org database. The Romney-aligned group’s last disbursements in the final months of 2019 included $30,000 to the Republican Governors Association and more than $50,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund, an ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Following Mr. Romney’s failed 2012 presidential bid as the GOP nominee, the former Massachusetts governor became a vehement critic of President Trump’s 2016 bid and a vocal leader of anti-Trump Republicans. Mr. Romney accepted Mr. Trump’s endorsement for his Senate campaign in 2018, but Mr. Romney has subsequently emerged as a stalwart critic of Mr. Trump including through the use of a pseudonymous Twitter account that shrouded the senator’s identity as “Pierre Delecto.”
Mr. Romney’s frequent political campaigns—for Massachusetts’ governor, repeated presidential campaigns, and for the U.S. Senate from Utah—have fueled speculation that his aspirations for higher office have not yet been satisfied.
Mr. Romney, however, reportedly decided against primarying the incumbent president, but he may work to defeat Mr. Trump away from the ballot box. The Utah Republican figures to be a major factor in impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump in the Senate, as a rare Republican that Democratic supporters of impeachment are aiming to woo.
The remnant of right-leaning donors that oppose Mr. Trump have not completely cashed-out either. The Lincoln Project, a Never Trump super PAC with the goal of making Mr. Trump a one-term president, touted raising $400,000 soon after forming in December.