Romney gets chilly reception from GOP senators after Trump attack

Sen. James Lankford will occasionally take issue with President Donald Trump’s tactics and rhetoric. But he’s not sure what Mitt Romney was thinking with his biting condemnation of the president before he was even sworn into office.

“It kind of felt like the same thing Trump does to everybody, Romney does to Trump. Smack you, and then want to negotiate,” said Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma. “It is funny to me that while he was complaining about President Trump’s personal attacks, he was personally attacking President Trump. I don’t know if he sees the irony in it.”

When Romney heads into his first Republican Conference meeting later this week, he might face an awkward reception from many of his fellow Republican senators. Some are scratching their heads about why Romney ripped Trump in a Washington Post op-ed; others are angry about reopening an intraparty divide. And it could color how Senate Republicans view Romney over the long term, raising questions about his effectiveness in the GOP conference.

“Focusing on our political opponents that are trying to annihilate us and embarrass the president is probably a more productive focus, rather than just criticize what the president is, how he does things,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the former whip who is running for reelection as a Trump ally.

After a few beers and in the company of trusted friends, some Senate Republicans might admit they find the president’s rhetoric and erratic actions troubling. And Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Ben Sasse of Nebraska have not been shy about challenging the president’s comments since he took office, though they generally stick to specific issues rather than issuing broad denunciations.

 Read more at Politico

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