After writing a scathing op-ed attacking President Donald Trump, Senator-elect Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was blasted by the leader of the Republican Party – who happens to be his niece – and the president had a few choice words for the former Massachusetts governor, as well.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel took to social media to rebuke her uncle and ignite a family feud for writing an anti-Trump column published in a leftist Washington, D.C., daily.
"POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7,” McDaniel tweeted. “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."
'Rookie' Romney could be a problem
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow)
A Massachusetts-based pro-family activist says new Utah Senator Mitt Romney is showing his true colors in his recent attack against President Trump. Brian Camenker, president of MassResistance, says for one thing the former Massachusetts governor is being a hypocrite.
"It wasn't that long ago when [Romney] was sort of playing up to President Trump when he wanted to become secretary of state or whatever it was he wanted to become – and suddenly Trump was the nicest guy around and was a great president," Camenker tells OneNewsNow. "So when Romney didn't get that job, suddenly he's back with this ridiculous 'Never Trump' viciousness."
Camenker says his group in Massachusetts had tried to warn the voters of Utah during Romney's run for the Senate. "We basically said you can't trust this guy. He didn't run as an anti-Trumper. He ran as a 'let's get along with everybody' type of guy –and ten minutes after he got elected, suddenly his true self comes out."
Romney's votes in the U.S. Senate could be problematic, according to Camenker. "Maybe Mitch McConnell can whip him into shape, [but] we'll see. These guys in leadership seem to have a way of dealing with rookies."
But Camenker points out that Romney isn't your normal rookie senator.
Magnifying the negatives
In his opinion piece, Romney took aim at the president and appeared to take the role of the mainstream media, which Trump has dubbed as “fake news” for its anti-Trump bias in news coverage.
“The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December,” Romney opened up his op-ed published by The Washington Post. “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.”
The failed GOP presidential candidate went on to stress that he did not cast his ballot during the primary season for Trump.
“It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination,” Romney continued. “After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not.”
He used this to set up a few more jabs at the president.
"[I] will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions," Romney said, alluding – in part – to Trump’s tough-on-immigration stance and policies.
The Mormon politician laced his rant against the president with a few commendations, but they did little to stifle the scathing attack on his character.
“When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion,” Romney recounted. “His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his 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.”
He then took aim at Trump by implying that he does not have the virtuous character and integrity of past presidents.
"As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit," Romney wrote. "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."
A stab was also taken at the president for his handling of domestic affairs.
"To reassume our leadership in world politics, we must repair failings in our politics at home,” Romney argued. “That project begins, of course, with the highest office once again acting to inspire and unite us. Our leaders must defend our vital institutions despite their inevitable failings: a free press, the rule of law, strong churches, and responsible corporations and unions."
In the end, he summed up Trumps conduct during his presidency as less than sub-par.
"On balance, his conduct over the past two years – particularly his actions this month – is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office," the soon-to-be Utah senator contended.
Trump weighs in …
McDaniel entered the fray as a referee shortly after Trump put in his own two cents about Romney’s latest slight, as the president likened the senator-elect to one of his biggest GOP critics in the Senate – Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).
"Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not," Trump tweeted Wednesday. "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 has been no stranger of opposition from within his own party over the first two years of his presidency.
“The fighting underscores how the turmoil within the party over Trump's presidency is unlikely to settle in the new year,” Fox News reported. “The spark that lit the fire came when Mitt Romney – who won his Utah Senate race in November and has sparred with the president before – wrote [his] scathing op-ed.”
The politicians’ tumultuous past has had its ups and downs over the past few years.
“Romney has had an ever-changing relationship with Trump,” Fox News’ Nicole Darrah recalled. “A harsh critic of the billionaire businessman when Trump ran in 2016, Romney changed his tune in the immediate aftermath of the election when he was thought to be considered for secretary of state, even dining with the man he had called a ‘phony’ and a ‘fraud’ – he did not get the job. He thanked Trump last year for his endorsement in the Utah Senate race.”
After a little reconciliation, however, Romney went back to his old ways.
“But as he enters Congress, Romney has returned to criticizing the president,” Darrah added. “The 71-year-old noted in his op-ed that the rest of the world often looks to the U.S. ‘for leadership’ – and that the ‘world needs American leadership’ – but that Trump's ‘words and actions have caused dismay around the world.’"
Another conservative calls Romney out
American Values President Gary Bauer – who also serves as the chairman of Campaign for Working Families – also condemned Romney for his latest attack on Trump.
“The problem, as Romney sees it, is President Trump,” Bauer pointed out in a message he sent to his American Values supporters. “There wasn't one word in his op-ed about ending abortion on demand, securing our border or fighting the radical left, which is increasingly hostile to free speech and religious liberty.”
Bauer, who is also the senior vice president of Focus on the Family, saw Romney – not Trump – as the divisive one within his party.
“Just think about the message Romney is sending to grassroots conservatives all across the country,” the conservative leader offered. “In Romney's view, the problem in Washington isn't the swamp culture, but the man they elected to drain the swamp. In Romney's view, the problem in Washington isn't the left's ‘resistance’ to everything Trump says and does, but Trump himself.”
The pro-family advocate suggested that Romney should take a look in the mirror before casting aspersions at someone who outperformed him at the polls and achieved something he has failed to do numerous times – win a White House run.
“Romney hasn't even taken his oath of office yet, but already he is vowing to lead the establishment opposition to Trump – as if there isn't enough of that already,” Bauer contended. “And this is coming from the guy who gave us four more years of Barack Obama because he wasn't tough enough to handle Candy Crowley.”