Welcome to 2019, can I offer you some more political drama? Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered up some scathing critique of President Donald Trump in a Jan. 1 Washington Post op-ed that is igniting some old tension. The confetti has barely been swept up, but Mitt Romney's op-ed about President Donald Trump has apparently dragged their old feud into the new year. New year, old drama.
In his biting op-ed published on New Year's Day, Romney wrote that Trump "has not risen to the mantle of the office" of the presidency. The soon-to-be senator from Utah also added that Trump has caused a divided, "resentful, and angry" nation, and that's his biggest "shortfall" as president. Romney wrote in his New Year's Day op-ed,
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.
In response to Romney, Trump bit back using his favorite medium: Twitter. On the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 2, the president sent out a tweet saying, "I won big, and [Romney] didn't." In his message, Trump also wrote the Romney should be focusing on border security — a topic which has caused a partial government shutdown that started at midnight on Dec. 22 amid a standoff with Democrats on Trump's border security proposal, which requested $5 billion for his plan that includes a border wall between U.S and Mexico. Trump wrote in his Wednesday tweet,
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!
This feud between Romney and Trump is so 2016. During the 2016 campaign, Romney, while serving as the governor of Massachusetts, criticized Trump in a March speech, calling him a "phony" and a "fraud." During his rebuke of Trump, Romney said, that "dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark."
In retaliation, during a 2016 rally, Trump took aim at Romney's 2012 presidential run, saying that Romney "ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of politics." The president added that Romney didn't run in 2016 because he "chickened out" in the shadow of Trump's run.
While tensions were high between Romney and Trump, it seemed that they had made amends. After Trump took office, Romney was reportedly on the shortlist for secretary of state — a position that ultimately went to Rex Tillerson (and then to Mike Pompeo). Despite Romney not clinching the position, about a year ago Trump endorsed Romney's senate run in a Feb. 19 tweet, saying "he will make a great senator."
While it seemed like folks wouldn't get another Trump versus Romney brawl, in 2019 maybe television reboots are out and political cage-match reboots are in.