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Romney will be ‘John Quincy Adams-esque’ senator: Senior adviser

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Ahead of Mitt Romney’s expected announcement that he's launching a campaign for the U.S. Senate from Utah, a longtime adviser to the former GOP presidential candidate says he'll model his re-entry into national politics after former President John Quincy Adams.

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“Mitt will be a John Quincy Adams-esque Senator, if you will,” Ron Kaufman, a senior adviser to Romney told ABC News’ Mary Bruce and Rick Klein on the “Powerhouse Politics Podcast” Wednesday.

“Adams had three public roles: He was a great Secretary of State, great one-term president, but he was even a better member of Congress when he became senator in a very contentious Congress in those days – and was a consensus builder and was praised for it,” Kaufman added.

John Quincy Adams was the son of former President John Adams and served as president from 1825-1829 before serving in the U.S. House from 1831-1848 representing Massachusetts.

PHOTO: Official portrait of President John Quincy Adams by George PA Healy from the White House collection.Getty Images
Official portrait of President John Quincy Adams by George PA Healy from the White House collection.

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Kaufman also said Romney, like Adams, will work to be a consensus builder in Washington, building on his years as the Republican governor of Massachusetts, when he worked with a state legislature controlled by Democrats.

“He brings a special quality to Utah in the Senate that will kind of bring a center. I don’t mean an ideological center – kind of the way he was governor of Massachusetts where you had 140 representatives and only 20 were Republicans,” Kaufman said, “He was able to bridge the gap between the House and the Senate, and Republicans and Democrats, and be the centrist.”

When asked about Romney’s frosty relationship with President Donald Trump, a man he called a “phony” and a “fraud” during the 2016 presidential campaign, Kaufman said speaking out during a campaign is very different from attempting to work together to govern.

PHOTO: Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is interviewed at the Silicon Slopes Tech Conference, Jan. 19, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. George Frey/Getty Images
Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is interviewed at the Silicon Slopes Tech Conference, Jan. 19, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“I think these men and women that get elected as a senator, representative or president know what is spoken in the blood sport of a campaign is different than what is spoken in the halls of Congress or the White House,” Kaufman said.

Trump has called Romney a “fool” a “mixed-up man who doesn’t have a clue” and “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics."

Mitt Romney, who was one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics, is now pushing me on tax returns. Dope!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)February 25, 2016

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks to media during a meeting with bipartisan Members of Congress about infrastructure in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Feb. 14, 2018. Carolyn Kaster/AP
President Donald Trump speaks to media during a meeting with bipartisan Members of Congress about infrastructure in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Feb. 14, 2018.

Kaufman also cautioned against characterizing Romney’s run as solely about speaking out against President Trump.

“He’s running to be the senator from Utah not the senator of the country. He’ll do the right thing,” Kaufman said.

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