Former GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took to Twitter on Monday morning to criticize President Trump, using the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday to suggest that Trump is racist.
Mitt Romney wrote: “The poverty of an aspiring immigrant’s nation of origin is as irrelevant as their race. The sentiment attributed to POTUS is inconsistent w/ America’s history and antithetical to American values. May our memory of Dr. King buoy our hope for unity, greatness, & ‘charity for all.’”
The poverty of an aspiring immigrant’s nation of origin is as irrelevant as their race. The sentiment attributed to POTUS is inconsistent w/ America’s history and antithetical to American values. May our memory of Dr. King buoy our hope for unity, greatness, & “charity for all.”
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) January 15, 2018
The former Massachusetts governor was referring to accusations that President Trump had referred to “shithole countries” in a discussion over immigration policy in the Oval Office last Thursday with a small group of six Senators that included Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Trump has rejected using that phrase, and Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Frank Purdue (R-GA) have disputed hearing it, as has Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was also in attendance.
The White House said that Trump was pleading for a merit-based system of immigration policy, as opposed to the existing policies of “chain migration” and the “diversity visa” lottery.
Trump was also reportedly defending his administration’s decision to send some El Salvadorans and Haitians, who are in the U.S. due to earthquake disasters, back to their countries of origin after their temporary protected status expires.
Democrats have also used the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday to attack Trump, based on the recent controversy and on past claims that he is a racist.
Speculation has mounted whether Romney would be a friend or foe of President Trump if elected to the Senate.
Romney has an unsteady connection with President Trump. In March 2016, he brutally attacked Trump in a speech in Salt Lake City, Utah — but halted short of endorsing a rival candidate in the GOP primary. He improved relations with Trump when he wanted to become Secretary of State in the new administration, but has since re-emerged as one of the president’s leading GOP critics, appealing to the remnant of the “NeverTrump” movement.
Last summer, Romney reprimanded President Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville, accusing him of moral equivalence between neo-Nazis and those opposing “racism and bigotry” — but without noting that the latter had disrupted a lawful, permitted protest.
Democrats, in fact, did accuse Romney himself of racism when he ran for president in 2012, especially when he accused Barack Obama supporters of voting for “free stuff,” and when he joked that “no one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate.”
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