WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is calling on “leaders of all stripes” to “tone it down,” warning that the high-pitched, election-season rhetoric and attacks will lead to “dangerous action” from their followers.
The Utah senator and former governor of Massachusetts calls out both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a statement declaring that politics has “moved away from spirited debate to a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass that is unbecoming of any free nation.” Romney cites Trump’s comments calling Sen. Kamala Harris, Democrat Joe Biden’s running mate, a “monster” and Pelosi “crazy,” among other things.
He charges that Democrats, too, “launch blistering attacks,” though he offers fewer examples: Only the moment Pelosi ripped up Trump’s State of the Union Speech and a recent video by Keith Olbermann, a progressive political and sports commentator, calling Trump a “terrorist.” And Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, gives a pass to Biden, who he says “refuses to stoop as low as others.”
My thoughts on the current state of our politics: pic.twitter.com/oYY4zlX6ZP
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) October 13, 2020
Romney has said previously he won’t be voting for Trump this fall after voting to convict the president on impeachment charges, but has not said if he supports Biden. The moderate Republican has been a frequent critic of Trump and breaks with his party at times on key votes.
Romney goes on to warn that the “rabid attacks kindle the conspiracy mongers and the haters who take the small and predictable step from intemperate word to dangerous action,” adding that it’s “time to lower the heat.”
Last month, Romney said he would support a vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to fill the seat of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)