Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday slammed Sen.-elect Mitt Romney for harshly criticizing President Trump’s character, saying that the attack was “bad for the Republican Party.”
“It’s a big mistake, and it is really getting off on the wrong foot for the senator from Utah,” said Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican.
Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee who will be sworn in as a new senator from Utah, assailed Mr. Trump in an op-ed in The Washington Post. He wrote that Mr. Trump’s conduct and actions in world affairs “defined his presidency down.”
Mr. Paul called it a self-service and disrespectful way to begin one’s service in the Senate.
“I just don’t think the president deserves new senators coming in [and] attacking his character,” he told reporters in a conference call.
Mr. Paul noted that he had opposed Mr. Trump on policy more than any of his fellow Republican senators but never attacked the president’s character.
He predicted the backlash against Mr. Romney will grow, noting that many Senate Republicans won their 2018 election with help from Mr. Trump.
He said the op-ed hurt Mr. Romney within the GOP, despite praise for him among Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans that included encouragement for Mr. Romney to challenge Mr. Trump in 2020.
“I don’t think there is an appetite for a Romney run in the Republican Party,” Mr. Paul said.
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