Despite the family drama Wednesday, it looks like Sen.-elect Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is not going to hold a grudge against his niece, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, after she called him out for his anti-Trump op-ed.
On Monday evening, Romney published an op-ed for The Washington Post that questioned the character and leadership of President Donald Trump.
With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.
While Trump and Paul didn’t pull any punches, perhaps the most stinging response came from his niece. As IJR reported, the RNC chairwoman called out her “freshman senator” uncle for his “disappointing and unproductive” op-ed.
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
Despite this awkward family clash, Romney didn’t seem too angry with McDaniel’s comments. He addressed the family drama during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, claiming he wasn’t surprised that she criticized his actions.
Watch the video below:
Romney on his niece — the GOP chairwoman — criticizing him for his op-ed: "I respect her right to express that viewpoint. … She's a very loyal Republican, loyal to the President and she's doing what she thinks is best for him and for the party" https://t.co/F5NN2Wzxg3 pic.twitter.com/NElZLHXrQM
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 2, 2019
“She’s the chairwoman of the Republican Party. She has a responsibility. I respect her right to express that, to her viewpoint. It’s probably more, if you will, civil than it might have been across the Thanksgiving dinner table because we, of course, have disagreements in our family. She’s a very loyal Republican, loyal to the president, and she’s doing what she thinks is best for him and for the party.”
As Tapper noted, Romney didn’t blindside his niece with the op-ed. He had alerted her before it was published.
All in all, the fact that Romney warned his niece about the pending op-ed likely means he knew she would have to hit back on behalf of the party. It looks like this was more of a necessary evil between the two prominent Republicans than a family-crushing drama.