Washington: FormerRepublican presidential candidate and incoming Utah Senator Mitt Romney haslaunched a scathing attack on President Donald Trump, writing in an editorialthat he caused dismay around the world and had “not risen to the mantle ofthe office”. “It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choicefor the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, Ihoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It didnot,” Romney wrote in the Washington Post opinion piece on Tuesday. “…His conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions, is evidence thatthe President has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
Romney,who is set to be sworn into the Senate on Thursday, also said that Trump’spresidency weakened America’s influence abroad, writing that “Trump’swords and actions have caused dismay around the world”. “The worldneeds American leadership and it is in America’s interest to provide it.” “Withthe nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership inqualities of character is indispensable… And it is in this province where theincumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”
Trumphit back at the Republican senator-elect in a tweet on Wednesday, saying:“Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he aFlake? I hope not,” Trump tweeted, referring to retiring Arizona SenatorJeff Flake, a Republican who criticized the President often in the last fewyears. “Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so manyother things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should behappy for all Republicans. Be a team player and win!” Trump said.
Romneysaid that he agreed with some of the policy changes Trump has championed.“But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency,” hewrote. Responding to Romney’s piece, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager BradParscale said that the incoming senator “lacked the ability to save thisnation” while Trump “has saved it”. “Jealously is a drinkbest served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had thecourage (Trump) had,” Parscale said.
Romneyand Trump have long had a complicated political relationship. The President hadcalled Romney “irrelevant” and had bragged that he was a moresuccessful businessman. When Trump wasrunning for President in 2016, Romney called him a “phoney” and a“fraud”. In 2017, he slammed the President after the deadly whitesupremacist rally in Virginia for causing “racists to rejoice” and“minorities to weep”. Romney said he would support the President inpolicies he thought were in the best interests of Utah or the US but speak outagainst actions “that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant,dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions”.