Well, that didn’t take long.
Utah Republican U.S. Sen.-elect Mitt Romney, who takes office later this week, wasted no time in establishing himself as a Donald Trump watchdog on Capitol Hill.
I am thrilled to read what the new senator had to say about the president of the United States.
I also am delighted to know that he poked the president sufficiently to prompt yet another Twitter response, calling on Mitt to be a “team player” and urged him to concentrate on issues such as, oh, border security.
Back to the point of Mitt’s essay published New Year’s Day in the Washington Post. He said Trump has taken the Republican Party to new lows. He questions the president’s principles, his competence, his commitment to the office he occupies.
What’s even more fascinating is the Republican Party’s response to Romney’s criticism. A GOP RNC member from the Virgin Islands is pitching an idea to make it more difficult for someone to challenge Trump in the upcoming presidential election. Current rules apparently give a well-funded challenger a relatively clear path to challenging an incumbent president.
The RNC member notes that no GOP incumbent who has faced a primary challenge has been returned to office. Two of them come immediately to mind: President Ford in 1976 and President Bush in 1992.
Read the Romney essay here.
Trump, of course, has pointed out that Romney lost the 2012 election as the GOP nominee to President Obama, while he won in 2016. I’ll just add that Romney faced a more formidable opponent in Obama than Trump did in defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton. But that’s beside the point.
The relevant point is that Utah’s new junior senator has presented himself as a serious member of the U.S. Senate, someone who’s been around a while and understands government and the way it works. What’s more, his personal background suggests that he is a credible critic of a president who lacks the “character” we need in our head of state.
What follows is a snippet of Romney’s essay:
To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president 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. 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.
There you go.