One of incoming Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Democrats aim for maximum pressure on GOP over debt ceiling MORE’s (R-Utah) top political advisers has reportedly been fielding calls from donors urging Romney to consider a 2020 run against President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE.
Spencer Zwick established Romney’s donor network during his two previous presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
Zwick routinely takes calls from donors encouraging Romney to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020, two people familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post.
Romney lost the 2008 Republican primary to the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (R-Ariz.) and went on to secure the party’s nomination in 2012 before being defeated by incumbent President Obama.
Romney has emerged as a vocal critic of the president, penning an op-ed attacking Trump’s character and accusing him of a glaring "shortfall" in policy and leadership.
"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," Romney wrote for the Post on Tuesday.
"I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions," he continued.
Trump and his 2020 reelection campaign manager Brad Parscale both fired back by invoking Romney’s two failed presidential runs.
“The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation. @realDonaldTrump has saved it,” Parscale wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @realDonaldTrump had.”
The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation. @realDonaldTrump has saved it. Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @realDonaldTrump had. https://t.co/mbxoTqbSX6— Brad Parscale (@parscale) January 1, 2019
Trump on Wednesday suggested the incoming senator should be a “team player” and support his administration.
"Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not," Trump wrote on Twitter .”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!”
Romney's niece, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, blasted her uncle for his op-ed on Wednesday.
"POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7," McDaniel tweeted "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."
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 McDanielRonna Romney McDanielGOP seeks Biden referendum over vaccine mandates RNC vows to sue over Biden vaccine, testing mandate H.R. 4 carries forward the legacy of Congressman John Lewis MORE (@GOPChairwoman) January 2, 2019