New year, new political beefs. Of course!
It’s only Jan. 2, but 2019 has already kicked off with a political bang. The government remains partially shut down and on Tuesday night a scathing op-ed written by Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential nominee and current senator-elect, was published in The Washington Post.
In the 13-paragraph editorial, Romney unleashed his brutally honest criticisms of President Trump, saying his “character falls short” of that needed to successfully shape the nation. And on Wednesday morning, Trump addressed Romney’s words with a single 280-character tweet, saying he should be happy “for all Republicans.”
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
Naturally, the good and very consistent people of the internet have already taken Romney’s quest for political justice to Twitter. Some dove into the inescapable political archives to discuss Romney’s acceptance of past Trump endorsements and call him a hypocrite.
While others applauded the senator-elect for choosing to publicly speak out against a fellow Republican.
I get the skepticism over Romney, but we keep demanding R’s speak out against Trump, and he just did. It matters, he should be applauded for it, and I wish more would join him. Now let’s see what he does in the Senate.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 2, 2019
It is so easy for people to take shots at Mitt Romney. He has done plenty to deserve that. But while you are stewing in your own cynicism remember that the future of our country is likely to depend on whether a few Republicans step up—for whatever reason—and challenge Trump.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) January 2, 2019
And still others went straight for the jokes.
That Mitt Romney op-ed reveals that the most dangerous thing Trump could do would be to become 10% more polite
— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) January 2, 2019
mitt romney yells “darn it” into a mayonnaise jar and throws it into the sand, what bravery
— erin “auld lang” ryan (@morninggloria) January 2, 2019
Can someone help me? Tried reading Mitt Romney’s op-ed but it just said “trombone sound” a few hundred times
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) January 2, 2019
In the op-ed, Romney began by acknowledging that Trump was never his choice for Republican nominee, but that he hoped after winning, Trump’s administration would abandon petty approaches like anger and name-calling.
“But, on balance,” Romney concluded, “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 presidency “shapes the public character of the nation,” Romney wrote, noting a person with Trump’s power should unite the American people, defend the free press, and display honesty and integrity.
“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.”
Romney pledges he will work alongside Trump and other members of the Senate to improve the country, but it remains to be seen how aggressive he’ll be in standing up to the president.