GOP senator knocks Romney: The last thing we need is ‘a Jeff Flake on steroids’

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) needled fellow Republican Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyClimate change is a GOP issue, too On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump MORE (Utah) in an op-ed in The Washington Post on Friday, arguing that the GOP doesn't need "more distractions."

"The mainstream media and Democrats want to further divide Republicans, and now Romney has played right into their hands," Perdue wrote.

"Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSen. Coons examines Amazon's privacy and data security practices for Alexa devices Oil companies join blitz for carbon tax The Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget MORE (Ariz.) filled that role before his retirement; the last thing we need now in the Senate is a Jeff Flake on steroids. We certainly don’t need more distractions. We need constructive leaders who want to get things done."

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Perdue invoked Flake, a vocal critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE who retired this month, while responding to an op-ed that Romney wrote in the Post earlier this week. In the op-ed, Romney slammed Trump's character, saying that it fell short of what the country needed.

The Georgia senator argued Friday that Romney, a former GOP presidential nominee, "made the same mistake that many Republicans did in 2012 — a mistake that cost him the White House."

"Like others who have run for president and failed, Romney has taken a stance that smacks of jealousy and resentment. It does nothing but serve the radical liberal left and further divides conservatives," he argued.

Perdue closed the op-ed by asking Romney to fall in line with the rest of the party.

"We are on track to change the nation’s direction for the better," he wrote. "We are on track to restore economic opportunity, fiscal responsibility, limited government and individual liberty. I hope Romney, who plans to caucus with Republicans, will reconsider continuing his harmful behavior as he begins his Senate career.

"Instead, I hope he will join me as one of the few business-minded leaders who can stay focused on getting the job done."