Romney Slams Trump: Aspiring Immigrants’ Poverty, Race ‘Irrelevant’

Mitt Romney speaks to reporters after dining with President-elect Donald Trump at Jean Georges restaurant on November 29, 2016. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
January 16, 2018 8:03 a.m.

Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney blasted President Donald Trump Monday for his reported “shithole” remarks about African countries.

In a tweet commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Romney said the “poverty of an aspiring immigrant’s” home country is just as “irrelevant as their race.”

“The sentiment attributed to POTUS is inconsistent w/ America’s history and antithetical to American values,” he said.

Romney’s remarks follow reports that Trump asked lawmakers in a bipartisan meeting discussing immigration reform Thursday why the U.S. needs more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” like those in Africa. Trump has denied he made those remarks, but did admit to using “tough” language in his attempts to push for a merit-based immigration system.

The former governor’s tweet comes on the heels of news that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is retiring and has encouraged Romney, who now lives in Utah, to run for his seat. Romney reportedly texted a friend over the weekend, confirming his bid.

He has not made an official statement on whether he plans to run, but his former spokesperson Kevin Madden told CNN Tuesday that if Romney is not publicly downplaying reports of his candidacy, he’s likely planning to run.

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