Romney knocks Trump over McCain criticism

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt Romney7 things to know about the coronavirus stimulus package Scarborough rips Trump for mocking Romney's negative coronavirus test: 'Could have been a death sentence' Trump on Romney's negative coronavirus test: 'I am so happy I can barely speak' MORE (R-Utah) hit back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpDefense industrial base workers belong at home during this public health crisis Maduro pushes back on DOJ charges, calls Trump 'racist cowboy' House leaders hope to vote Friday on coronavirus stimulus MORE on Tuesday for his recent string of criticism directed at late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJuan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal Ernst calls for public presidential campaign funds to go to masks, protective equipment President Trump is right — Now's the time for 'all hands on deck' MORE (R-Ariz.). 
 
"I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God," Romney said in a tweet. 
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Trump and McCain had a rocky relationship, with Trump criticizing the GOP senator during the 2016 presidential election for getting captured during the Vietnam War. He's also repeatedly lashed out at McCain for voting against the GOP health care bill in 2017.
 
But Trump has doubled down on his frustration with McCain this week despite pushback from lawmakers and McCain's family. 

“I was never a fan of John McCain, and I never will be,” Trump told reporters during an Oval Office meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Trump relitigated the ObamaCare repeal-and-replace vote at the White House, saying he was "unhappy" with McCain's surprise "no" vote, which effectively killed the GOP effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.
 
“He campaigned on repealing and replacing ObamaCare for years and then he got to a vote and he said ‘thumbs down,’” Trump added. “I think that's disgraceful, plus there are other things.”
 
McCain was one of the most vocal GOP critics of Trump in the Senate, criticizing his leadership style, breaking with him on foreign policy issues like Russia and urging his colleagues to vote against Gina Haspel's nomination to be CIA director.
 
Trump's comments at the White House come after he lashed out at McCain in tweets over the weekend, saying that while “spreading the fake and totally discredited Dossier” is a “dark stain” on McCain’s record, his vote against ObamaCare repeal was “far worse.”
 
Many others have pushed back against Trump's comments. 
 
 
 
"He's a hero. He's passed away," Schumer told a New York radio station.
 
McCain and Romney were fierce competitors during the 2008 GOP presidential primary, where McCain eventually captured the party's nomination. In one debate the two clashed bitterly over the Iraq War, with Romney accusing McCain of misrepresenting his position and using the  "the kind of dirty tricks that I think Ronald Reagan would have found to be reprehensible."
 
But the two men reconciled with Romney ultimately endorsing McCain as the party's nominee and campaigning with him during his 2016 Senate bid. McCain also endorsed Romney during the 2012 election.
 
Some Republicans have also floated Romney, who has a high profile as a previous presidential candidate despite being a freshman, as someone who could help fill the void among Senate Republicans left by McCain's death. Then-House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.), Romney's 2012 running mate, said during a 2018 Washington Post event that Romney could be a "standard-bearer" for the party like McCain was.