Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) took a pass on condemning President Donald Trump for racism after the Sunday twitter tirade in which the president, clearly referencing four progressive Democratic House members who are all women of color, urged them to “go back” to other countries.
Three of the four ― Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts ― were born in the U.S. while the fourth ― Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota ― came to America as a child with her family from Somalia.
Amid an immediate and passionate barrage of criticism directed at Trump over his tweets ― even, in some rare cases, from Republicans ― Romney was asked his reaction by NBC Boston reporter Alison King.
If anyone expected the 2012 GOP presidential nominee ― who in the past has been willing to break with his party’s herd mentality and assail Trump ― to deliver a powerful condemnation of the president, they were sadly disappointed.
Instead, Romney’s first reaction was to suggest the president had a point:
“I certainly feel a number of these new members of Congress have views that are not consistent with my experience and not consistent with building a strong America,” he said, according to a tweet from King.
Romney did offer a slight verbal rap on the knuckles to Trump, according to another King tweet.
King asked Romney point-blank if he thought the president was racist, which inspired the senator to high-tail it from the reporter without answering the question.
“That’s all I got, thanks,” he said.
Reactions on Twitter included some wondering whether Romney is a vertebrate:
One person suggested Romney speak out now, lest Trump start attacking others, such as Latter-day Saints, the religious group of which Romney is a member.
Another suggested it was folly to ask Romney any questions dealing with racism.
Others simply relied on sarcasm.