Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate and a Republican senator-elect in Utah, has written a scathing op-ed for The Washington Post, saying President Trump “has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
Published in The Post on Tuesday, Romney’s piece reiterated past thoughts about Trump. That is, while Trump wasn’t his first choice to be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2016, he hoped the billionaire businessman would “rise to the occasion” to lead and unite the U.S.
But, Romney said, he’s found that the president’s actions have proven otherwise.
“… 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,” Romney wrote.
Trump’s policies and appointments as president have not necessarily been “misguided,” according to the former Massachusetts governor, who said he was encouraged by the elevation of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, John Kelly and James Mattis — a majority of whom have since been fired or resigned from the administration.
Romney said Trump should be bringing the country together, inspiring Americans. He should demonstrate “the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect.”
“As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit,” he 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.”
The 71-year-old noted 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.”
“To reassume our leadership in world politics, we must repair failings in our politics at home. That project begins, of course, with the highest office once again acting to inspire and unite us,” Romney wrote in the op-ed. He added that, “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.”
He said that regardless of the politician, he’ll support policies that benefit Americans and those he represents in Utah. Romney said he won’t comment on all of the president’s tweets or problems, but “will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions.”
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