Romney ‘felt a pit in his stomach’ at ‘surprisingly good’ early Trump election night numbers, book says

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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, leaves the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Russell Building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

  • Sen. Mitt Romney predicted a Trump election win early on election night, per a new book.
  • Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, took note of Biden’s less robust performance in Florida.
  • Romney did not cast a ballot for Trump in either of the Republican’s presidential campaigns.
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On election night last November, Sen. Mitt Romney watched the early returns and developed “a pit in his stomach” at then-President Donald Trump’s strong performance in early states, an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Washington Post reporters Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker said.

The Utah Republican, who was the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and has had a turbulent relationship with Trump over the years, was watching the returns with his wife, Ann, and other family members and saw that the early numbers were positive for the president.

In fact, the numbers were “surprisingly good” for Trump, with now-President Joe Biden underperforming in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, where Democratic presidential nominees need to perform strongly in order to capture the populous swing state.

That night, Romney told his family that Trump would be victorious in the presidential election, the excerpt from “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” said.

“I think he’s going to win,” Romney said in the book. “Those polls were way off. I think he’s going to pull it out.”

At the White House, the mood was jovial early in the night, with Trump supporters thrilled with the initial results.

Trump data cruncher Matt Oczkowski saw positive signs in the president’s overperformance among minority groups in Florida, along with his success with turning out rural White voters in North Carolina, according to the excerpt.

However, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien tried to keep the president’s expectations in check, telling him to “stay calm” as states continued to report their results, according to the excerpt.

Read more: Where is Trump’s White House staff now? We created a searchable database of more than 327 top staffers to show where they all landed

Romney, who was less shocked at Trump’s 2016 victory than many others, had seen the GOP become more beholden to far-right figures over the years, but still sought to deny the president a second term in office.

As the night went on and states were called for Biden, along with the reality that several key states had many more ballots to count, the expectations of a Trump win became increasingly tempered.

Trump, who was anxious to declare victory on election night, instead gave an early morning speech where he challenged the validity of the remaining ballots and sought to involve the Supreme Court in the race.

Romney expressed that was “heartsick” after watching the president’s nationally-televised speech, according to the excerpt.

“We’re in a global battle for the survival of liberal democracy in the face of autocracy and autocratic regimes attempting to dominate the world,” he said. “So saying something and doing things that would suggest that in the free nation of the United States of America and the model of democracy for the world, that we can’t have a free and fair election would have a destructive effect on democracy around the world, not just to mention here.”

The senator voted to convict Trump of abuse of power in his first impeachment trial for this role in the Ukraine scandal, and would later go on to vote to convict the ex-president of incitement of insurrection in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in his second impeachment trial.

Trump was acquitted of the charges in both Senate trials, as the upper chamber failed to reach the two-thirds threshold needed to convict.

Romney said last year that he did not vote for Trump in either the 2016 or 2020 presidential elections.

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FAANG stocks tumble as Georgia election result heightens uncertainty for Big Tech

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FAANG stocks face uncertainty.

  • Georgia’s run-off election results are creating heightened uncertainty for Big Tech names, as the likelihood of regulation from a Democrat-controlled Senate increases.
  • Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google were all down around 2% in premarket trades.
  • Traders and strategists argue that cyclical and value stocks will benefit from the result, while FAANG names may suffer.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Early trading after the open on Wednesday morning reflected fears among investors that FAANG stocks could be in for a rough ride with Democrats likely to take the Senate. Shares of both Facebook and Apple were down almost 3%, while Amazon and Google parent Alphabet were each down nearly 2%. 

Democrat Raphael Warnock has pulled off a narrow victory in one of the two Senate runoffs, while Jon Ossoff is also leading a close race against Republican candidate David Perdue, with the only votes remaining to be counted from democratic strongholds around Atlanta.

Big tech names were trading lower, as companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google are likely to face greater pressure from Democrats in the Senate, who have promised greater scrutiny of tech giants, according to the New York Times.

The potential for a more aggressive regulatory approach from Democrats should have Big Tech investors ready for underperformance, argues Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report.

Essaye said in a note, “in the immediate term, markets are pricing in more stimulus. From an equity standpoint, that means tech underperformance and cyclical/value outperformance. The biggest takeaway from the Democrats win is more power behind the cyclical/value/higher rates trade,” per CNBC.

“Once the market digests this result, a pullback would not shock us at all, as at these levels the market is not pricing in tougher regulation, substantially higher rates or an earnings headwind, and the chances of all three went up overnight.”

On the other hand, Brian Levitt, global market strategist at Invesco said in a note that he expects value stocks and emerging markets to benefit as a result.

Levitt said in a note he believes Democrats may “use their latest opportunity to advance greater fiscal spending to support the economic recovery. In a more-pronounced economic recovery, we would expect an even further rise in Treasury rates, tightening of municipal and corporate bond spreads, weakening of the dollar, and higher performance of value stocks and emerging market equities,” per MarketWatch.

 

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Alan Dershowitz says Texas lawsuit tossed by Supreme Court should tell Trump’s allies that they ‘can’t count on the judiciary’ to invalidate election results

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Alan Dershowitz listens to President Donald Trump speak during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in December 2019.

  • Alan Dershowitz on Sunday said that the Supreme Court’s decision to toss the Texas election lawsuit signaled a message to President Donald Trump’s camp that they “can’t count of the judiciary” to invalidate the election results, according to The Hill.
  • Dershowitz said that Trump’s campaign needed a “perfect storm” in order to invalidate the election results, with courts, governors, and state election officials aiding his cause.
  • “I suspect on Monday we will see the electors…elect Joe Biden,” he said. “Whether you like that or you don’t like it, that’s the reality that the Trump team has to face.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Constitutional law scholar Alan Dershowitz on Sunday said that the Supreme Court’s decision to toss the Texas election lawsuit signaled a message to President Donald Trump and his allies that they “can’t count of the judiciary” to invalidate the election results, according to The Hill.

Dershowitz spoke about the recent case that sought to overturn the results in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania during a WABC 770 AM radio interview with New York businessman John Catsimatidis. In an unsigned order issued on Friday, the high court rejected the lawsuit due to lack of standing.

“The three justices that President Trump appointed, his three justices, voted not to hear the case,” Dershowitz said.  “I think it’s a message to him and his team that you can’t count on the judiciary, you can’t count on the courts,” he said.

During his presidency, Trump successfully installed jurists Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, which shifted the balance of the court to a 6-3 conservative majority.

He said that Trump’s campaign needed a “perfect storm” in order to invalidate the election results, with courts, governors, and state election officials aiding his cause.

However, with the Electoral College meeting on December 14, further attempts to litigate the results are even more implausible as they were after the election was called for President-elect Joe Biden in November.

Dershowitz said that state legislatures are “very, very unlikely” to help the president.

He added: “So I suspect on Monday we will see the electors…elect Joe Biden. Whether you like that or you don’t like it, that’s the reality that the Trump team has to face.”

The Trump campaign has unleashed a litany of election lawsuits across the country since the election was called for Biden, with virtually all of the litigation proving unsuccessful. Nonetheless, the president continues to spread debunked allegations of widespread voter fraud, none of which have been successfully proven in court.

The Supreme Court ruling on Friday came just days after the court declined to take up a similar Republican-backed case that focused on Pennsylvania’s election results.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, told Newsmax on Friday that the campaign would present its case in district court.

“We’re not finished,” he said. “Believe me.”

Dershowitz was a member of Trump’s defense team during his impeachment trial earlier this year, where he argued that the president should not have been removed from office for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress because the charges did not constitute “high crimes.”

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