Mitt Romney on Donald Trump’s Charlottesville Comments: He ‘Caused Racists to Rejoice’

Donald Trump Mitt Romney, Mitt Romeny Charlottesville, Charlottesville reaction

Getty President Donald Trump and Mitt Romeny in December 2016.

Mitt Romney continued his critique on President Donald Trump’s reaction to the August 12 Charlottesville, Virginia violence with a long Facebook post on Friday. “Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn,” the former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential nominee wrote.

In the Facebook statement, Romney wrote that “what we heard is now the reality,” despite Trump’s aides trying to say otherwise. “Unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric,” Romney wrote.

Romney has been critical of Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville before. “Racial prejudice, then hate, then repugnant speech, then a repulsive rally, then murder; not supremacy, barbarism,” Romney wrote on August 12.

On August 15, Trump said there were some “very fine people” marching with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the alt-right. He circled back to his initial statement on August 12 that the white supremacists and those protesting them were both to blame for the violence. “No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes,” Romney wrote.

After Trump’s comments on August 15, David Duke and alt-right leaders thanked Trump for his remarks. “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa,” Duke wrote.

Romney expanded on his beliefs in the long Facebook message, pointing out that military commanders have even denounced Trump’s remarks.

“The leaders of our branches of military service have spoken immediately and forcefully, repudiating the implications of the president’s words,” Romney wrote. “Why? In part because the morale and commitment of our forces–made up and sustained by men and women of all races–could be in the balance. Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate; America’s ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished. And who would want to come to the aid of a country they perceive as racist if ever the need were to arise, as it did after 9/11?”

Here is Rommey’s entire statement:

I will dispense for now from discussion of the moral character of the president’s Charlottesville statements. Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn. His apologists strain to explain that he didn’t mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.
The leaders of our branches of military service have spoken immediately and forcefully, repudiating the implications of the president’s words. Why? In part because the morale and commitment of our forces–made up and sustained by men and women of all races–could be in the balance. Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate; America’s ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished. And who would want to come to the aid of a country they perceive as racist if ever the need were to arise, as it did after 9/11?
In homes across the nation, children are asking their parents what this means. Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims are as much a part of America as whites and Protestants. But today they wonder. Where might this lead? To bitterness and tears, or perhaps to anger and violence?
The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville. Testify that there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis–who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat–and the counter-protestors who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute. And once and for all, he must definitively repudiate the support of David Duke and his ilk and call for every American to banish racists and haters from any and every association.
This is a defining moment for President Trump. But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children. They are watching, our soldiers are watching, the world is watching. Mr. President, act now for the good of the country.

Romney was the Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and ran for President in 2008 and 2012. He was the GOP nominee in 2012 against President Barack Obama. During the 2016 presidential election, he opted not to run and never endorsed Trump, famously delivering a speech in March 2016 in which he called Trump a “phony” and a “fake.” However, after Trump won the election, he was reportedly in the mix for Secretary of State and met with Trump in New York.

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