January 3, 2019
In a Washington Post opinion piece that ran on Wednesday, Mitt Romney, a former G.O.P. presidential candidate who will be sworn in today as U.S. Senator for Utah, delivered a searing attack on President Donald Trump—perhaps signaling that he will become the first “conscientious objector” in the 116th Congress.
In doing so, he would follow in the footsteps of Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, both of whom served as Republicans from Arizona.
In the op-ed, Romney flatly asserted that, “… on balance, [President Trump’s] conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.
Specifically, Romney noted that “The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a ‘sucker’ in world affairs all defined his presidency down.”
As a member of the president’s own party, the new senator admitted, “It is well-known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not.”
Further, he said that U.S. presidents are role models who should “unite and inspire” a nation and display “honesty and integrity.” However, he wrote, “… it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”
Romney’s attack did not go unanswered. The president immediately tweeted, “Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! 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!”
Trump was backed up by his 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale, who tweeted, “The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation. @realDonald Trump has saved it. Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @realDonaldTrump had.”
In addition, TIME magazine reported, Republican National Committee Chairperson Ronna McDaniel—who just happens to be a member of Romney’s family—reviled him, saying, “POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM [mainstream] media and Democrats 24/7. For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive.”
All of which made it just another day inside the Beltway.
Research contact: @MittRomney