During a meeting for his upcoming biography of Romney, Atlantic journalist McKay Coppins wrote how the senator “showed me his freezer, which was full of salmon fillets that had been given to him by Lisa Murkowski, the senator from Alaska”.
Mr Coppins continued: “He didn’t especially like salmon, but found that if he put it on a hamburger bun and smothered it in ketchup, it made for a serviceable meal.”
Journalists and other political figures joined Ms Murkowski in ribbing the senator over his “haunting” eating habits.
“So many unbelievable, damning details about Romney’s GOP colleagues in this piece ... But this one about the ketchup salmon keeps haunting me,” Laura Bennet, an editor at The Atlantic, tweeted.
Luke Winkie, of Slate, wrote that the publication “made me prepare and eat Mitt Romney’s eldritch, deeply f*****-up salmon ketchup sandwich”.
He added: “Mitt Romney is not a foodie. That was made abundantly clear over and over again during his two-decade political career—his record overflows with horrific crimes against good taste, to the point that I’m surprised he’s not been tried at the Hague.”
“It somehow tasted worse than I expected. My girlfriend kept her eyes glued to the window during my consumption, in the same way you might stare at the ceiling while getting blood drawn.”
George Conway, conservative lawyer and Trump critic, also weighed in. “Mustard is much better than ketchup on salmon but nobody’s perfect,” he tweeted.
“Imagine receiving Alaskan salmon from Lisa Murkowski…and putting ketchup on it. Sacrilege,” Quill Robinson, associate fellow of the energy security and climate change program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote.
Mr Romney has previously revealed other odd food habits such as his favourite sandwich being peanut butter and honey.
To all those celebrating—happy National Hot Dog Day! May there be many more hot dogs served in our wonderful land. 🌭🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/McEnevvg8d
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) July 19, 2023
He has called hot dogs his “favourite meat”.
“Well, as you all know, today is National Hot Dog Day,” he said in a video this summer. “Perhaps you also know that hot dog is my favourite meat. I love hot dogs. I love ‘em in buns. I love them outside of buns. I love them in baked beans. I just like hot dogs.”
Mr Romney, 76, noted his age when announcing his retirement on Wednesday.
“I spent my last 25 years in public service of one kind or another,” he said.
“At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-80s. Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders. They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in.”