Trump hits back at Romney attack

Geneva Stokes
January 3, 2019

President Donald Trump fired back at Mitt Romney after the Republican senator-elect penned an op-ed saying Trump "has not risen to the mantle of the office". The president said Romney "should be happy for all Republicans" and should be "a TEAM player".

Abby Huntsman said she spoke to Romney in her home state of Utah previous year: "He said point blank to me, 'I'm running to basically be the anti-Trump". I hope he does because that's what his constituents want.

He continued levying criticism, and Trump soon hit back.

Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee engaged in a war of words with the president on myriad issues over the past 18 months, generating headlines and fiery tweets from a president who generally insists on getting the last word.

Trump responded to Romney's op-ed on Wednesday morning.

On social media some praised Mr Romney, others said he should have gone further.

Mr Trump's 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale also said: "Jealousy is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it".

But in a series of tweets, conservative political analyst Bill Kristol described Romney as the leader of the Republican resistance to Trump, and that his op-ed is indicative that Trump's dominance over the Republican Party can no longer be taken for granted. This behavior is extremely disappointing coming from someone who was the Republican nominee for President in 2012.

He suggested nevertheless that Mr. Romney intends to be a persistent critic of the president. "As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit".

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But in his essay on Tuesday, Romney sought to stake out a more independent position in his party and vowed to be a strong voice in Washington, which now includes a divided Congress as Democrats are scheduled to take control of the House of Representatives on Thursday. Only 10 percent of Germans, 9 percent of the French, 7 percent of Spaniards and 28 percent of British people viewed Trump's handling of world affairs in a positive light.

The world "needs American leadership", he argued, and "the alternative. offered by China and Russian Federation is autocratic, corrupt and brutal". "A world led by authoritarian regimes is a world - and an America - with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace".

Mr Romney and Mr Trump traded barbs during the 2016 presidential campaign, with Mr Romney calling Mr Trump a "fraud" and Mr Trump slamming Mr Romney's 2012 loss to Democrat Barack Obama. "Be a TEAM player & WIN!" In one speech, Romney said there was plenty of evidence that Trump was "a con man, a fake".

During the Republican primary in 2016, Romney spoke out against Trump and said he didn't have the "temperament" to be president.

"As an immigrant, a combat veteran, a black American, a millennial, and as a member of the RNC, I wholeheartedly support and endorse President Trump for re-nomination", he wrote.

Tensions between the two seemed to relax after the election.

But after the presidential election, Romney eased off the criticism and interviewed to become Trump's secretary of state.

"I will support policies that I believe are in the best interest of the country and my state, and oppose those that are not", he explained. "So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @realDonaldTrump had", Mr. Parscale tweeted.

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