Just days away from his inauguration to the United States Senate, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (R-UT) is making clear where he stands when it comes to President Donald Trump.
In a scathing op-ed for the Washington Post, Romney warns the nation that Trump's character falls short of what is needed for a President to unite the country.
Though Romney concedes that Trump has accomplished some aspects of the Conservative agenda, he notes that "policies and appointments" are just part of a Presidency, before elaborating on what a President should represent to the nation.
"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."
He also vowed to call out the bigotry Donald Trump mobilized to earn the steadfast support of his base:
"I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it didn't take the President too long to respond:
Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt… https://t.co/pPdZY29V92— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1546433635.0
The op-ed and Trump's response to it have brought an array of reactions. Some, like GOP chairwoman Romney's own niece Ronna McDaniel, defended the President.
POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7. For an incoming Republican freshman senator t… https://t.co/SA3V7h5OXu— Ronna McDaniel (@Ronna McDaniel)1546440340.0
But for the most part, Americans stood with Romney against Trump.
@realDonaldTrump Unfortunately you have no idea what or how to be a team player. You have thrown so many people in… https://t.co/vZGy2qWOQE— Bethmo (@Bethmo)1546441243.0
@realDonaldTrump So nice there is at least one Republican who will speak the truth. Too bad you can’t handle it.— Dee Ellen Buckley (@Dee Ellen Buckley)1546441883.0
@realDonaldTrump Wow, coming from the least team player of them all 🥴🤫 You just care about yourself, right?— Chris Sickels (@Chris Sickels)1546441769.0
Some were quick to point out that, unlike Donald Trump, Romney won the popular vote in his senate election.
@realDonaldTrump Romney got more votes than you did. You did not win big!— The Original Wyo Cat (@The Original Wyo Cat)1546441657.0
@realDonaldTrump Actually he won the popular vote in Utah for Senator. You did not win the popular votein the US.… https://t.co/oNYrYCLt4D— Rage Donkey™️ (@Rage Donkey™️)1546441212.0
@realDonaldTrump Seriously? You still think you "won big"? You LOST THE POPULAR VOTE! Denial of facts doesn't constitute truth.— Kim Silfven (@Kim Silfven)1546442091.0
Though Romney was commended in some circles, some remain wary.
Many still expect Romney to fall in line with the President.
Wow brave op-ed from Mitt Romney https://t.co/mD273muPqL— Jason O. Gilbert (@Jason O. Gilbert)1546395213.0
.@MittRomney, Flake and other Republicans writing and making speeches - your words mean nothing unless you take act… https://t.co/cv51TRxwn8— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈)1546442603.0
Mitt Romney: A Profile in Political Courage https://t.co/8ybgqdQ8Vc— ian bremmer (@ian bremmer)1546438043.0
Mitt Romney in one GIF. https://t.co/vdt2An599m— ian bremmer (@ian bremmer)1546442022.0
@USATODAY Pretty words are meaningless. Action is the only thing that counts. We've had enough pretty words from… https://t.co/5dssJUKSob— Gail Overstreet (@Gail Overstreet)1546439405.0
Shorter #MittRomney: I agree with most of the President's ruinous policies, I just wish he wasn't so much of a jackass while doing them.— Elie Mystal (@Elie Mystal)1546442648.0
Romney officially begins his tenure as a Senator for Utah on January 3rd. Only after that will the country see just how much weight his words against Trump should hold.