Mitt Romney is all four of these things: 1) a former one-term governor of Massachusetts; 2) the 2012 Republican Party nominee for president; 3) an incoming U.S. senator elected from the state of Utah; and 4) a frequent critic of president Donald Trump.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Romney wrote a scathing Washington Post op-ed to critique Trump.
“The president has not risen to the mantle of the office,” Romney declares.
“I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions,” Romney adds with regard to Trump.
Regardless of Trump’s personal wealth or his background, he was elected – in both the 2016 primary and general elections – largely by working-class people who got tired of being ignored by BOTH political parties. These are people in the Rust Belt who have, for 40 years, watched their steel mills and factories close due to so-called “free trade.” When the plants close, they take their union wages, health care and pensions with them.
For better of for worse, Mitt Romney has no appeal to these voters. Romney appeals to an old Republican Party that now has little hope of winning a presidential election. Well-to-do white people are now such a small percentage of the U.S. population that it seems unlikely they can constitute the base for a successful national party.
Nevertheless, Romney may be positioning himself to challenge Trump in the 2020 Republican presidential primary. Another regular Trump detractor, outgoing Ohio Gov. John Kasich, on Wednesday tweeted, “Welcome to the fray, @MittRomney,” regarding the Washington Post op-ed. Kasich is also considering a primary challenge to Trump.
We are not certain of Romney’s reasons for attacking Trump in such a public manner, but it seems Trump now has a new critic in Washington.