Sen. Mike Lee is in a tight reelection race in Utah against former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin. Lee is a Republican, as is the state’s other senator, Mitt Romney. Now, normally, senators of the same party from the state would endorse each other, but Romney has yet to throw his weight behind Lee. Romney is one of the scant few Republicans who have yet to turn their souls over to former President Donald Trump, and Lee is very much … not that.
Lee is desperate, though, and on Tuesday night, he went on Tucker Carlson’s show to literally beg Romney for help. “I’ve asked him, I’m asking him right here again tonight, right now,” Lee bumbled as a dumbfounded Carlson watched. “Mitt, if you’d like to protect the Republican majority … please, get on board. Help me win reelection. Help us do that. You can get your entire family to donate to me.”
Lee was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and, like most of his colleagues, has relinquished what little integrity he may have possessed by prostrating himself before Trump. Initially critical of the former president, Lee quickly fell in line after he was elected. He even tried to sell Trump to Utahans ahead of the 2020 election by comparing him to the Mormon prophet Captain Moroni. “He seeks not power, but to pull it down. He seeks not the praise of the world or the fake news, but he seeks the well-being and the peace of the American people,” Lee exclaimed.
Lee did not publicly challenge the legitimacy of President Biden’s win, and he condemned the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. But, as Politico pointed out earlier this year, he attended a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago weeks after the insurrection. When the Republican National Committee met in Utah in February to censure Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for serving on the Jan. 6 committee, describing the riot as “legitimate political discourse,” Romney objected. Lee did not. A few months later, texts revealed he was working to overturn the election all along, offering former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows his “unequivocal support for you to exhaust every legal and constitutional remedy at your disposal to restore American’s faith in our elections.”
Former Capitol Police officer Michael Fanone told Rolling Stone days later that Lee lied about his election stance to a group of those affected by the insurrection when they met with him and other senators about forming a commission to investigate what happened on Jan. 6. “I never had a particularly high opinion of politicians,” Fanone said. “I’m not shocked that I sat in a room across from somebody while I showed them body worn camera footage of myself almost being beaten to death by Trump supporters on Jan. 6 and then had them lie to my face.”
“Mike Lee is not a politician,” Fanone added. “He’s a criminal suspect.”