Senator Romney met a crowd just shy of 100 people at the Heber City Police Department on Wednesday evening.
The senator took questions and comments from the audience for about an hour. Topics included universal health care, the conflict in Yemen, and growth in Utah. Senator Romney said while he voted against President Trumps emergency declaration to secure funding for a border wall, Romney does support a physical barrier.
“I just think it makes sense to have a fence or some kind of structure that keeps people from being able to come into the country illegally,” Romney continued. “There are a number of other things I think we have to do to hopefully eliminate illegal immigration. I’m a fan of legal immigration, I do not want to cut it down. I was pleased the President put a program out that said that have legal immigration with the same numbers as the past, but let’s people come into the country based on what they think they can contribute. The job skills they might have, hopefully they speak English, and so forth. I thought that was the right approach.”
Senator Romney said he does support DACA individuals staying in the country and receiving legal status with the opportunity to receive citizenship. On climate change, Romney said he wants to continue to keep in place emission controls on vehicles. When asked about coal use in Utah, the senator said that he would not outlaw the use of coal as it remains a large part of the energy makeup for the state. He did say that he expects that to change.
“What we’re seeing right now is market dynamics playing out,” Romney said. “I let the market play as it has and you’re going to see the transfer from coal to natural gas. We ought to be sending our coal to other countries that will keep using it. Globally our coal happens to be some of the cleanest coal. There are a lot of nations that are going to use coal and will for a long period of time. So, I’d send our coal to markets where because we have such clean coal it would be widely accepted.”
When asked about the conclusion of the Mueller investigation, Senator Romney confirmed that he’s read the entire report. He also said he didn’t think that the house of representatives would be likely to impeach President Trump. Romney likened the process to the judicial system.
“With regards to impeachment I’ve offered my thoughts about the prosecutor,” Romney explained. “In this case it’s the house and what I think the house will do or how they’ll evaluate the evidence. If they decide to impeach, I will be a member of the jury. I will not be the prosecutor; I’ll be a member of the jury. The Senate is the jury and I will listen to what is brought forth and offer the most honest and fair assessment, as any juror would do.”
At one point in the evening a young man got up and became confrontational with the senator asking a series of questions including an accusation that the senator rigged the 2012 primary elections. Romney did address the idea that the 2012 primary elections were rigged.
“I don’t know how you would rig a primary, a caucus in particular,” Romney continued. “The caucuses by the way it’s like this. I went to the Iowa caucuses, and it’s really something, people are in a room like this and they say how many vote for Romney? and they count hands. And how many vote for Santorum and they count hands. How many vote for Ron Paul, and they count hands. That’s how the Iowa caucuses are done, they also fill out a paper copy as well.”
Senator Romney did say that election interference was an important issue for him as well. He mentioned a bill in the senate he is watching closely.
“So, for instance right now if you watch TV and there’s an ad for a politician, it says who it is that’s behind that ad,” Romney said. “Remember, I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this message. If you go on social media that’s not the case. So, this is a bill that would provide on social media the same requirement which is whoever is paying for it would have to be identified in the ad. I’m positively inclined although as Ross Perot used to say the devil’s in the details and so I’m working on that.”
The entire audio of the town hall meeting can be found at KPCW.org.