Sen. Mitt Romney likely surprised no one with his criticism of President Trump over his comments about progressive freshman congresswomen.
The Utah Republican and former governor of Massachusetts wouldn’t actually say whether he agreed with the left that the president’s tweets were racist, but he did say that Trump “fell far short” of his duty to unite all Americans.
Romney leveled safe criticism at the group of women engaged in a war of words with the president, speaking to an NBC10 Boston reporter on Monday about Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
“I certainly feel that a number of these new members of Congress have views that are not consistent with my experience and not consistent with building a strong America,” he told NBC News reporter Alison King at Boston Logan International Airport on Monday.
“At the same time, I recognize that the president has a unique and noble calling to unite all Americans regardless of our creeds, or our race or the place of our national origin,” he added. “And I think in that case, the president fell far short with his comments yesterday.”
“That’s all I’ve got, thanks,” he replied as he walked away when asked whether he thought Trump’s tweets were racist.
on whether Trump tweet is racist. pic.twitter.com/b0A8E2QChh
— Alison King NBC10 Boston (@AlisonNBCBoston) July 15, 2019
Politico’s congressional reporter Burgess Everett and NBC’s Frank Thorp asked the 2012 Republican presidential nominee later about the controversy and, again, Romney would not say whether he thought Trump’s comments were racist, though he did say they were “very wrong.”
NEW: @SenatorRomney —>
Q: Do you think Pres Trump’s tweets were racist?
“Um, you know, a lot of people have been using the word and my view is that what was said and what was tweeted was destructive, was demeaning, was disunifying, and frankly it was very wrong.” pic.twitter.com/uQqhzSxOLs
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 15, 2019
He also would not specifically say whether he would support a Senate vote to condemn Trump’s comments, following a move by Speaker Nancy Pelosi who has introduced a resolution in the House.
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) July 15, 2019
“Haven’t given that thought,” he said. “But I’ve certainly indicated what I believe, so if that were to come, people know where I stand.”
Republicans began speaking out on Monday after the president doubled down on comments which he tweeted that the progressive freshmen House members should ”go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
The president passionately doubled down in a press conference Monday, condemning the lawmakers who “hate our country.”
Trump brazenly takes on critics in fiery, passionate presser about freshmen four: ‘They hate our country’ https://t.co/rU8ISnOFCE
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 15, 2019
“I’m watching them, all they do is complain,” Trump said on Monday. “All I’m saying, if they want to leave, they can leave.”
Meanwhile, Romney was slammed by the left for being “spineless” and not calling Trump’s remarks racist.
And it is confirmed.
This man requires a spine.
— RR Apple (@RRalstonAgile) July 15, 2019
Profiles in Harrumphing by Mitt Romney coming soon to a bookstore near you.
— Hooper DrivesTheBoat (@HooperDrives) July 15, 2019
Bold words from Senator Mitt Romney.
(not really; that was sarcasm)
— Seth Yoder (@seth_yoder) July 15, 2019
JUST IN: Mitt Romney is a jellyfish. Next?
— brihana davidson (@brihana25) July 15, 2019
Mitt Romney, when asked whether Trump’s tweet was racist pic.twitter.com/1dbZOYbNPE
— ElElegante101 (@skolanach) July 15, 2019
The new Mitt is as spineless as the old Mitt.
— Jilli Brown (@JilliBrownn) July 15, 2019