Mitt Romney Blasts ‘Deep Descent’ of Trump Presidency (#GotBitcoin?)
In op-ed piece, incoming Utah senator and former 2012 presidential candidate says president ‘has not risen to the mantle of office’. Mitt Romney Blasts ‘Deep Descent’ of Trump Presidency
President-Elect Trump And Mitt Romney Dining In New York In November 2016,
When Mr. Trump And His Transition Team Were In The Process Of Filling
Cabinet And Other High-Level Administration Positions.
Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential nominee who will be sworn in as senator for Utah on Thursday, delivered a withering attack on President Trump’s character in an op-ed article published Tuesday.
Mr. Romney wrote in the Washington Post that U.S. presidents are role models who should “unite and inspire” a nation and display “honesty and integrity.”
“And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring,” he wrote.
Mr. Romney’s article is an unusual attack from a member of the president’s own party. In the Senate, Republican criticism of Mr. Trump has been sparing, coming primarily from lawmakers who are on their way out of office, notably Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona.
By taking aim at Mr. Trump in so public a forum at the beginning of his term, Mr. Romney appears to be signaling that he will follow a more independent path when it comes to the president’s behavior. The piece inevitably will stoke speculation that Mr. Romney may want to challenge Mr. Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. Polling shows, though, that Mr. Trump commands the loyalty of rank-and-file Republicans.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr. Trump is sensitive to attacks from prominent political figures, though, and typically uses his Twitter feed to respond.
In a tweet Tuesday night, Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, wrote: “The truth is @mittromney lacked the ability to save this nation. @realdonaldtrump has saved it. Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it.”
In the article, Mr. Romney praised some of Mr. Trump’s policies, including the nomination of conservative judges and passage of a tax-code overhaul.
“But policies and appointments are only part of a presidency,” he wrote.
The 2012 GOP presidential nominee—who failed to defeat Barack Obama in his re-election bid—said that “on balance, his (Mr. Trump’s) conduct over the past two years…is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of office.”
Mr. Romney mentioned the month of December as an especially troubling period in the Trump presidency. He cited the ouster of John Kelly as White House chief of staff and the resignation of Jim Mattis as defense secretary, along with the appointment “of senior persons of lesser experience.”
“The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December,” Mr. Romney wrote.
Through the years, Messrs. Romney and Trump have had an up-and-down relationship.
As president, Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Romney’s Senate bid, tweeting in February that “he will make a great senator.” Mr. Romney, in turn, accepted the endorsement.
During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Romney called Mr. Trump a “fraud” and a “phony” in a speech. Striking back, Mr. Trump called Mr. Romney a “failed candidate.”
But after Mr. Trump’s victory, the president-elect considered Mr. Romney for the secretary of state job.
The two men discussed the position over dinner in Manhattan. Afterward, Mr. Romney praised Mr. Trump for “bringing people together.” He didn’t get the job, though. Mr. Trump tapped Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Corp. chief executive at the time, for the position. Mr. Trump fired Mr. Tillerson in March and replaced him with his CIA director, Mike Pompeo.
In Mr. Romney’s presidential bid in 2012, Mr. Trump endorsed him in a joint appearance in Las Vegas.
“Mitt is tough, he’s smart, he’s sharp,” Mr. Trump said at the time. Accepting the celebrity endorsement, Mr. Romney said: “There are some things you just can’t imagine happening in your life. This is one of them.”
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