Romney rebuff of President Trump criticized by fellow Republicans

Mitt Romney takes questions from reporters outside of his new office in the Russell Senate Office building on January 3, 2019.

WASHINGTON (SBG) - Before he even raised his right hand, Mitt Romney raised some eyebrows, with a harsh criticism of president trump in a Washington Post op-ed, in which he argues “Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world” and says “the President has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

“I thought it was important for me as I begin a new chapter in my life to lay out my priorities and my perspectives on matters related to our government,” said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah in an interview Thursday..

But many members of that government, specifically fellow Republicans, call it a big mistake.

"I think some people believe somehow they’re holier than thou and they’re going to present their virtue by bringing down others and i think that’s not really acceptable to most of us,” said Sen. Rand Paul ,R, Kentucky in a phone interview.

For the Republican National Committee, Romney’s criticism of the President could harm the party’s agenda.

"When we don’t stick together we are playing into the democrats hands. You’re there to represent your voters, the voters of Utah in the case of Mitt Romney. Those voters sent a message when they elected President Trump they want to see President Trump succeed," said RNC Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany.

But not all Republicans are worried.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said "Mitt was expressing his own views and i think it’s always helpful to have an airing of views.” adding "I think that’s appropriate. That’s our job. We’re independent agents."

Former FBI Director James Comey called out Republican critics of Romney in a tweet...saying “looks like the Republican tent is too small to fit integrity”

For his part, the newly sworn-in Utah Senator knows there will be challenges ahead.

"The slice of the party that aligns with me eye to eye is a relatively small slice these days," he said.

Another big question with this rebuke by Romney is whether this is sort of laying the first brick in the ground work for a Presidential challenge in 2020.

He told us he’s already been there done that and has no intention of doing so again.

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