President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, accused Mitt Romney of jealousy after the Republican candidate for the 2012 election wrote a scathing article for The Washington Post.
Romney, who is the senator-elect for Utah and will take office on Thursday, wrote that Trump’s presidency had made a “deep descent” in December and that the president was “thoughtless” and “has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
He also promised to “speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions.”
Parscale, who has run the Trump 2020 campaign since February, hit back at Romney through his Twitter account.
“The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation,” Parscale tweeted. “@realDonaldTrump has saved it. Jealously [sic] is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @realDonaldTrump had.”
Despite his loss in 2012 to the Democratic incumbent Barack Obama, Romney is seen as a potential challenger to Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination.
The 71-year-old former Massachusetts governor is about to enter the U.S. Senate after comfortably winning the Utah seat in the 2018 midterm elections. Trump endorsed Romney.
“To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation,” Romney wrote in The Washington Post, before taking aim at Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, lies, and penchant for name-calling.
“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.”
In recent weeks, the Trump administration was rocked by two departures; Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Mattis, a retired four-star general, used his resignation letter to make a thinly-veiled rebuke of Trump and his damaging trade and defense policies towards America’s allies, including the European Union (EU) and NATO. The president accuses allies of taking advantage of the U.S. in trade and military spending.
“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships,” Mattis wrote in his resignation letter.
“While the U.S. remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies.”