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 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2019
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 to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive. https://t.co/ArhI7Bi7bo
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 2, 2019
But for the most part, Americans stood with Romney against Trump.
Unfortunately you have no idea what or how to be a team player. You have thrown so many people in your own party under the bus, the bus can’t even move. This Democrat will take Mitt over you any day of the week.
— Bethmo (@livewbeth) January 2, 2019
So nice there is at least one Republican who will speak the truth. Too bad you can’t handle it.
— Dee Ellen Buckley (@Debrmb) January 2, 2019
Wow, coming from the least team player of them all 🥴🤫 You just care about yourself, right?
— Chris Sickels (@chrissickels) January 2, 2019
Some were quick to point out that, unlike Donald Trump, Romney won the popular vote in his senate election.
Romney got more votes than you did.
You did not win big!
— The Original Wyo Cat (@wyo_cat_JH) January 2, 2019
Actually he won the popular vote in Utah for Senator. You did not win the popular votein the US.
So you did not win big. He did.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) January 2, 2019
Seriously? You still think you "won big"? You LOST THE POPULAR VOTE! Denial of facts doesn't constitute truth.
— Kim Silfven (@KimSilfven) January 2, 2019
Though Romney was commended in some circles, some remain wary.