Romney challenges Trump and D.C. pays attention

Utah Senator-elect Mitt Romney a Republican was governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007

GOP Sen. -elect Mitt Romney said he wrote a blistering criticism of President Trump in an opinion piece because of the commander-in-chief's decision to pull USA troops out of Syria.

In his op-ed, Romney said President Trump's character falls short of what is required of a president.

Sen. -elect Mitt Romney said the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis, as well as President Donald Trump's "abrupt" move to exit Syria were "precipitating" events in deciding to pen a scathing op-ed earlier this week slamming Trump's character.

He continued levying criticism, and Trump soon hit back.

America has always been looked to for leadership.

Romney won his Senate seat by almost 32 percentage points this past November.

Romney and President Trump have publicly sparred several times in the past.

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During his Senate campaign, Romney insisted that he would agree with Trump on some issues and not be shy about disagreeing with him on others.

The relationship between Romney and Trump - their party's onetime presidential nominee and current commander-in-chief - has been turbulent through the years.

Trump used the social media blast to answer his own question about whether Romney would follow in Flake's footsteps as one of the Republican caucus' leading critics of his presidency and behavior. Trump responded that Romney had "choked like a dog" in his unsuccessful 2012 campaign against Democratic President Barack Obama. He said, "Sen. Rand Paul considers President Trump a friend, but beyond that, he is thrilled with his conservative policies, which have included historic tax cuts, massive regulation cuts, the appointment of constitutional jurists, and implementing an "America First" foreign policy by focusing on America and not every problem around the world". His op-ed was welcomed by anti-Trump figures from both parties, but blasted by Trump supporters. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has often criticized Mr. Trump's actions and hasn't ruled out a primary challenge against the president in 2020. "Nor do I think that the Romney type of establishment, big government Republicanism is popular enough to win a general election". He should be happy for all Republicans.

But in his essay on Tuesday, Romney sought to stake out a more independent position in his party and vowed to be a strong voice in Washington, which now includes a divided Congress as Democrats are scheduled to take control of the House of Representatives on Thursday.

In an interview Wednesday, Romney defended his remarks and also said he has not decided who he'll endorse in 2020.

"POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the [mainstream] media and Democrats 24/7", she said.

When a questioner confronted him with Trump's tendency to insult and name-call, Paul said that while he doesn't want to say "I give the president a pass" on such behavior, he thinks it is "more important to look at what we have in common, policy-wise, legislation-wise, what we can get accomplished" and that it doesn't "serve any goal other than gratifying oneself to criticize the president's character".

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