Gingrich Hits Back at Romney: 'Senate Doesn't Care Who You Used to Be'
Former presidential nominee rips Trump in WaPo op-ed.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich questioned the strategy behind incoming Sen. Mitt Romney's scathing op-ed criticizing President Trump's leadership.
Romney, who will be sworn in Thursday as a freshman Utah senator, wrote in the Washington Post piece, "His conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office."
Romney said not all of Trump's policies and appointments have been "misguided," but he said the president should demonstrate "the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect."
"As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit," he wrote. "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."
Trump responded on Twitter Tuesday morning, urging Romney to focus on issues like border security and to be a "team player."
Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2019
Gingrich asked on "Fox & Friends" Wednesday why Romney feels the need to "carve out" an anti-Trump position before he even enters the Senate. He said Romney could have written about the shutdown, Elizabeth Warren's run for president or many other important issues.
"I can't figure out why, strategically, he thought that was helpful to him. ... I think Romney would like to be president now. Stylistically, they're so different. I suspect every morning when Romney gets up he gets angry, just because Trump is so different than he is," said Gingrich.
The former Georgia Republican congressman said the Senate "does not care who you used to be" and he will not get special treatment because he was the GOP presidential nominee in 2012.
"He needs to learn how the Senate works. ... He'll just plain lose. You can't take Trump on in his own party. It's not possible," said Gingrich.
Watch the full interview above and see Gingrich's thoughts on the 12-day government shutdown.