U.S. President Donald Trump and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have never had an easy relationship. That was not helped on Tuesday by Romney writing a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post.
The critical piece said that “the president has not risen to the mantle of the office,” calling out his “conduct over the past two years.” He also argued that Trump has “fallen short of being a moral compass and guiding light for the nation.” Of course, President Trump responded to the piece, taking to Twitter to hit back, according to a report by NBC News.
On Wednesday morning, he took to the social media site to say that Romney should “be a TEAM player” if he wants to win. He also compared him to Jeff Flake, another politician the president has had a contentious relationship with.
“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!”
Flake, the outgoing Republican senator to Arizona, has also been severely critical of Trump — and the job he has been doing since he took to the Oval Office.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 2, 2019
Flake also jumped into this latest feud between Trump and Romney, responding to the latter’s op-ed by tweeting that he thought it was a “thoughtful piece.”
While the op-ed written by Romney was mostly critical, the former Utah governor — who is about to be sworn in as a junior senator — did list a number of things which he thought Trump had done right in the past two years since he took office. Two of the things Romney mentioned as positives: Trump taking on China’s trade practices, and Trump’s attempts to reform the criminal justice system.
Even so, he doesn’t feel that Trump has united the country — or inspired Americans to “follow our better angels,” as previous presidents have attempted to do. Instead, he believes that Trump has only further divided the country on major issues.
Romney, who ran against Obama in 2012, was heavily criticized by Trump during his own presidential campaign in 2016. Trump repeatedly called Romney a “failed presidential candidate,” and rather unflatteringly said that he had “choked like a dog” during his race against Obama.