Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Breitbart News during a press conference call on Wednesday that there remains no appetite for a potential Mitt Romney run for president in 2020.
Incoming Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) published an op-ed on Tuesday, criticizing President Donald Trump.
Sen. Paul quickly took to Twitter on Wednesday, calling Romney a “Big Government” Republican.
Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong asked Sen. Paul if he thinks Romney will plan to run to challenge President Trump in 2020 or if he will endorse Trump for president.
Sen. Paul told Breitbart News he thinks there remains no appetite for a Romney presidential campaign in 2020. Paul emphasized that Trump won many traditionally Democrat states, while Romney could not win any of these states.
“I think when you look back at presidential electoral politics, what was extraordinary about Trump’s run was that he won Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and no Republican has done that, and that includes Mitt Romney,” Paul told Breitbart News.
Romney lost the 2012 presidential election to former President Barack Obama by more than 100 electoral votes.
“I think Trump’s victory was an extraordinary one, and he did it by being, frankly, different, not being a run-of-the-mill establishment Republican. I don’t think there’s an appetite for a Romney run in the Republican party, nor do I think Mitt Romney-style big government establishment Republicanism is frankly popular enough to win in a general election,” Paul continued.
During the press conference, Sen. Paul also contended that Romney’s attack on Trump is “bad for the Republican party” and will make it difficult to get things done in the Senate.
The Kentucky conservative also stated that Romney’s sentiment about the president “does not represent Utah very well.”
Further, Paul said Romney’s opinion of Trump serves as a “minority” opinion in the Senate Republican conference.
“I think you’ll find a vast majority [of GOP senators] will have wished he hadn’t said it,” Paul added.
Sen. Paul said that when he differs with the president on policy, he does not resort to attacking his character. Paul explained that although he may disagree with the president on tariffs, he will champion the president’s moves on tax cuts, as well as his decision to withdraw American troops from Syria.
Other prominent Republicans also attacked Romney in the wake of his Washington Post op-ed.
Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Romney’s niece, criticized the Utah senator in a tweet on Wednesday.
“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,” McDaniel tweeted:
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