Mitt Romney is causing some controversy online after he blasted President Trump in a new op-ed with the Washington Post.
In 2018, Romney received President Trump’s endorsement and won his senatorial bid in Utah.
Now, in 2019, Romney seems to have a different view of the president and said Trump “has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
“With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable,” the former Massachusetts governor and failed 2012 presidential candidate wrote. “And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”
Romney continued in the op-ed:
To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.
The world is also watching. America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed. Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world.
As USA Today reports, Romney criticized Trump during the 2016 presidential election—which Trump ultimately won—then Romney seemed to make amends with him and even petitioned to join his administration.
Then Romney flipped again.
Romney’s biting public assessment came as Trump and Senate Republicans faced a new governing dynamic. Republicans on Thursday will cede control of the House to Democrats, who were prepared to oppose Trump on a number of policies and promised a slew of investigations into his actions and those of his aides and campaign officials, particularly with regard to Russia’s election meddling.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, had criticized Trump before – notably, in a March 2016 speech he called Trump a “fraud” and opposed his bid for the GOP nomination – but later he made peace with the president-elect and even expressed interest in joining his administration.
President Trump responded to the criticisms in the op-ed with an early morning tweet on Wednesday.
“Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast!” Trump said in the tweet. “Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful.”
“I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!” the president continued.
USA Today reports Trump’s campaign manager also responded to Romney’s criticisms
Romney’s rebuke of Trump drew a cutting reply from Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager. In a tweet Tuesday night, Parscale said Romney “lacked the ability to save this nation” and contended that Trump “has saved it.”
“Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it,” Parscale wrote. “So sad, I wish everyone had the courage
Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino similarly ripped Romney over the op-ed.
“Jeff Flake has passed the baton. The captain of the GOP sell outs needed a replacement to ensure the GOP remains a laughingstock to their base. And Mitt stepped right up to fill the void. Mitt’s a natural for this part,” Bongino tweeted on Tuesday evening.
In another tweet, Bongino called Romney a “world-class opportunist” and said, “This guy is hard to take.”
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