President Donald Trump responded to Utah Senator-elect Mitt Romney’s latest criticism of him Wednesday morning and implored him to be a team player.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2019
Romney will be sworn in as the next senator from Utah Thursday and is beginning his tenure in Washington with harsh criticism of Trump. “On balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office,” Romney declared in a Washington Post op-ed.
“With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable,” Romney continued. “And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.” (RELATED: Mitt Romney Writes Anti-Trump Op-Ed, Questions President’s ‘Character’)
Romney has long served as a public critic of Trump, going back to the early days of the 2016 presidential election. The failed presidential candidate delivered a major address against Trump and urged others not to vote for him up until his surprise victory in November 2016. Romney went so far as to meet with Trump during the presidential transition to discuss possibly becoming Secretary of State, but ultimately was not offered the job.
Trump alluded to the conduct of retiring Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake since 2016, who served as his most ardent Republican critic within the Senate from 2016 to 2018. The president often remarked that Flake was not seeking re-election because he would not be able to win a primary while serving as a Trump critic.