News & Politics

RNC Chair, Other GOPs Blast Romney for 'Disappointing' Anti-Trump Op-Ed

Utah Senator-elect Mitt Romney’s column in the Washington Post Sunday bashing President Trump has stirred an outpouring of disapproval and denunciation among conservatives on Twitter, including from his own niece, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

In his scathing op-ed, Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, said that Trump’s conduct in office and recent actions had “defined his presidency down.”

“On balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office,” he wrote.

It’s not clear why Romney would want to stake out a position in the GOP as the “class A-hole,” as PJ Media’s Liz Sheld put it in her Morning Briefing, but his niece is having none of it. Without naming names, McDaniel made it clear in a tweet Monday morning that she was displeased with Uncle Mitt’s anti-Trump diatribe in the notoriously anti-Trump paper.

“POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7,” McDaniel wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive.”

McDaniel “pinned” the tweet to the top of her profile.

The president himself also chastised Romney and advised him to “be a TEAM player” rather than an ankle-biting Jeff Flake-type.

“Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not,” Trump wrote.

Other conservatives on Twitter are voicing strong disapproval of Romney’s anti-Trump effort:

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY):

Former GW Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer:

Former CIA analyst, now radio (Buck Sexton Show) and Hill.TV host Buck Sexton:

Iraq vet and Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth:

Conservative author, Breitbart columnist and commentator John Hayward:

Pro-gun, conservative author and commentator John Lott:

Conservative author and radio show host Mark Levin:

Pollster Frank Luntz pointed out Romney’s rank hypocrisy for gladly accepting the president’s endorsement last year when he was running for the Senate, and then attacking him in an op-ed days before being sworn into office:

The Federalist’s Julie Kelly:

Head of the Conservative Union Matt Schlapp joked about Romney’s place of residence, but not about the fact that CPAC won’t be inviting him this year:

Even frequent Trump-critic Philip Klein did not like Romney’s op-ed:

Host of the Dan Bongino Show podcast, best-selling author, and frequent Fox News guest Dan Bongino went on a diatribe of his own in a series of angry tweets:

Does Romney really think that aligning himself with reviled never-Trumpers like Jeff Flake, Bill Kristol, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Evan McMullin, John Kasich, and Steve Schmidt is a good way to position himself for a 2020 primary challenge against the president? He couldn’t possibly be that politically oblivious, could he?

Or is he — as a new voice in the Senate — just earnestly expressing what a lot of establishment Republicans really think about Trump but are too craven to say in public?

Either way, it’s not a good look for him or the entire GOP.