Former presidential candidate and Utah Senate hopeful Mitt Romney on Sunday said he “cannot subscribe” to the mentality that Republicans should stay silent on points of contention with President Donald Trump for the betterment of the party.
In an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday, Romney responded to questions he said he often gets on the campaign trail about whether he plans to be supportive of the Trump agenda. He said that while he supports much of the Trump administrations’ successes in the past year, he will not blindly support the President regardless of his use of divisive rhetoric and said he plans to speak out against policies he doesn’t support.
“I have and will continue to speak out when the president says or does something which is divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions, he wrote Sunday. “I do not make this a daily commentary; I express contrary views only when I believe it is a matter of substantial significance.
“People ask me why I feel compelled to express my disagreements with the president. I believe that when you are known as a member of a “team,” and the captain says or does something you feel is morally wrong, if you stay silent you tacitly assent to the captain’s posture.”
Despite receiving a full-throated endorsement from Trump in February, Romney remains a prominent critic of Trump. Their relationship has heated up since the 2016 Republican primaries, when Trump said Romney “choked like a dog” during his 2012 presidential bid against former President Barack Obama.
Ahead of his inauguration, Trump briefly considered Romney for secretary of state, but eventually tapped former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for the gig. Critics speculated Trump was simply trying to humiliate Romney with the courtship.