Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) took a veiled shot at President Donald Trump’s delayed response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday night.
“The speed of our response looked slow compared to other people,” the GOP senator said during a virtual Georgetown University event, per the Washington Post. “That first phase will not stand out as a great moment in American leadership.”
“We didn’t look real strong, and that’s kind of an understatement,” he continued.
Romney made sure to mention he was “not blaming this administration,” but also that “the federal coordination has been less than my personal style.”
“The key to leadership is recognizing you’re not the smartest guy in the room,” the lawmaker said while laying out the importance of a president having experts guide him or her through a crisis like this one.
Romney had previously criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the outbreak, saying during a Senate briefing in late February that he was “very disappointed in the degree to which we’ve prepared for a pandemic.”
The senator is one of the few Republicans to speak out against Trump, and he even sided with Democrats to convict the President in the Senate impeachment trial. Trump has been heaping abuse onto Romney ever since, including cheering sarcastically when the senator tested negative for COVID-19 last month.
“This is really great news! I am so happy I can barely speak,” Trump tweeted. “He may have been a terrible presidential candidate and an even worse U.S. Senator, but he is a [Republican In Name Only], and I like him a lot!”