Sen. Mitt Romney says he can’t stay quiet anymore. Politics in the upcoming election, he says, has become “a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass.”
After calling out what he sees as bad acts by President Donald Trump, also mentioning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi among others, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee is asking for everyone to “tone it down.”
Romney issued his statement Tuesday via Twitter.
“I have stayed quiet with the approach of the election,” the Utah senator said, “But I’m troubled by our politics, as it has moved away from spirited debate to a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass that is unbecoming of any free nation — let alone the birthplace of modern democracy.”
He gave several examples of that morass, focusing largely on Trump:
“The president calls the Democratic vice presidential candidate a ‘monster;’ he repeatedly labels the speaker of the House ‘crazy;’ he calls for the Justice Department to put the prior president in jail; he attacks the governor of Michigan on the very day a plot is discovered to kidnap her."
Romney has said that he will not vote for Trump this year, although he has not said whom he will support. Four years ago, he voted for his wife as president.
Romney also criticized Democrats, although he gave a backhanded compliment to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“Democrats launch blistering attacks of their own — though their presidential nominee refuses to stoop as low as others.”
He took a shot at Pelosi, saying the California Democrat “tears up the president’s State of the Union speech on national television.”
Romney also went after journalists.
He complained that political commentator Keith Olbermann “calls the president a ‘terrorist.’ Media on the left and right amplify all of it.”
Romney said it all hurts America.
“The rabid attacks kindle the conspiracy mongers and the haters who take the small and predictable step from intemperate word to dangerous action,” he said.
“The world is watching America with abject horror; more consequentially, our children are watching. Many Americans are frightened for our country — so divided, so angry, so mean, so violent.”
So, Romney asked everyone to stop it.
“It is time to lower the heat,” he wrote. “Leaders must tone it down. Leaders from the top and leaders of all stripes: parents, bosses, reporters, columnists, professors, union chiefs, everyone. The consequence of the crescendo of anger leads to a bad place. No sane person can want that.”
Romney quickly attracted tens of thousands of reactions online — some applauding him, some disagreeing, and some saying he is part of the problem.
Jesse Greco disagreed and wrote, "No, @MittRomney, it’s time to stoke the flames. We have a fascist in the White House working to dismantle our democracy and strip the American people of their rights. It’s time to stand up and fight for our freedom. #VoteHimOutandLockHimUp
Jason Alexander tweeted that Romney is part of the problem. “You are complicit in what our politics have become. You get partial credit for speaking up at times. But ultimately, you have given a pass to this POTUS and your party who have enabled and abetted him. The vitriol is rage at the injustice and indecency you have allowed. Own it.”