Romney noted that Trump is “within his rights to request recounts, to call for investigations of alleged voting irregularities where evidence exists, and to exhaust legal remedies,” but condemned his inflammatory rhetoric.
“He is wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen — doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the Republic and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.”
Romney released a similar statement on Thursday when he tried to tamp down tensions and called on all Americans to “have faith in our democracy.”
“The votes will be counted. If there are irregularities alleged, they will be investigated and ultimately resolved in the courts,” he tweeted.
Romney has long been one of Trump’s most vocal conservative critics. This February, he was the only GOP lawmaker to vote to convict the commander-in-chief on one of the articles of impeachment passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
In October, Romney cast an early vote in the 2020 election. He told members of the press that he did not vote for Trump, but he did not reveal whether he voted for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden or somebody else.
Romney did not back Trump in 2016 either when the Republican competed against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As he explained to the press, he wrote in his wife, Ann, instead of casting a ballot for either of the candidates.
Despite being a staunch Trump critic, Romney has supported many of the president’s key moves. Notably, he backed the decision to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Other Republicans have also dismissed the president’s claims as baseless, apparently angering his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, who spent Thursday evening lashing out at prominent GOP figures. Trump Jr. slammed Republicans via social media for standing on the sidelines, saying that they “have been weak for decades.”
Among others, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and South Carolina lawmaker William Cogswell rebuked Trump.
Biden is just inches away from becoming the 46th commander-in-chief after having been projected to win several battleground states. Decision Desk HQ has already called the 2020 contest in the Democrat’s favor, projecting a win for him in Pennsylvania.