Dr. Mike Kennedy took several jabs at Mitt Romney, his opponent in the Utah primary for U.S. Senate June 26, on Breitbart News Tonight Monday evening.
Kennedy said that his message was resonating among Utahns, and he said that unlike Romney, who grew up in Michigan and served as governor of Massachusetts, he had deep roots in the state.
“I’ve lived here and worked here, raised my family here, and built my small business here, and love the place” he said. “Governor Romney has come recently.” He also said that voters were excited about a candidate who was a “regular, working Utahn who is not born into privilege and power” and “had to live on a budget.”
Kennedy forced Romney into a primary after defeating him narrowly — and unexpectedly — at the state GOP convention in April. Neither received the 60% necessary to avoid a runoff. They held a debate late last month.
Kennedy also contrasted his commitment to conservative principles with what he described as Romney’s penchant for flip-flopping on the issues.
“The main thing that’s consistent about his record is it’s inconsistent,” Kennedy said of Romney. “He kind of goes back and forth, depending on the crowd that he’s talking to as to what he’s presenting. Whereas my record’s been quite consistent on conservative Utah values.”
Romney enjoys the endorsement of President Donald Trump, but has criticized the president and his administration recently, including the decision to include evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress in the ceremony for the opening of the U.S. embassy in Israel in Jerusalem.
Asked to comment on Romney’s recent statement to NBC News that he did not consider President Donald Trump a “role model” for his grandchildren, Kennedy said: “I have been extremely impressed with our president … I can’t think of the last time that I’ve pointed my children to a president of the United States and said, ‘You need to be like that person.’ … What I talk to my children about — and when I’m in the office, talking to my patients — is I say, look, ‘You should be the best “you” that you can be, and that’s your goal. As you look at other people, learn from them. There’s good and bad associated with everybody.'”
Kennedy agreed that Romney was running to be the “anti-Trump,” in the U.S. Senate, even though Utah voters had been “deeply impressed” with the president.
“The anti-establishment movement that the president is representing is a groundswell in this state. People want to see something different, and they’re getting that with this president.” He said that there would be disagreements, but that he would disagree “respectfully” with Trump, where warranted.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.