In an op-ed published on Friday, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said he was excited for another businessman to join the Senate but became disappointed after that businessman — Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) — publicly criticized the president in The Washington Post.
“With his attempted character assassination of the president, a fellow Republican,” Perdue wrote in the Post, “Romney put self-interest ahead of the larger national interest: conservative Republican governance.”
He was referring to an op-ed in which Romney criticized President Donald Trump’s character and vowed to speak out against “significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions.”
While recently retired Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a fellow Trump critic, praised Romney, others weren’t so supportive.
Romney’s own niece, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, blasted his decision as “unproductive.”
POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7. For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive. https://t.co/ArhI7Bi7bo
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 2, 2019
“For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack [Trump] as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive,” McDaniel tweeted.
Perdue similarly worried that Romney’s op-ed served to further divide Republicans and strengthen Democrats:
He ran to the media instead of picking up the phone. That is exactly what is wrong with Washington. Too many career politicians focus on finger-pointing for their own self-interest rather than on getting results.
We have seen what a divided party means for Republicans. It means we help put Democrats in charge. It means we help them advance their radical liberal agenda, which has proven to fail the very people they claim to champion: the working women and men of America.
The Georgia senator clarified that he wasn’t trying to make an attack on Romney but the kind of “jealous” stance he took and how it affected the country.
“The op-ed brought to mind 2012, when many Republicans chose to divide the party by continually bashing each other,” Perdue said, citing the presidential election in which Romney lost as the Republican nominee.
“The last thing we need now in the Senate is a Jeff Flake on steroids,” Perdue wrote. “We certainly don’t need more distractions. We need constructive leaders who want to get things done.”