Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney demanded in a Facebook post Friday morning that President Donald Trump apologize for the consequences — intended or unintended — of his Charlottesville comments.
"Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn," Romney's post stated. "His apologists strain to explain that he didn't mean what we heard.
"But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric," he continued.
Romney's post is a direct response to what Trump said in multiple media appearances following the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. The president has been roundly criticized for placing blame both on the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who initiated the protest and the counterprotesters who came to resist the far-right protesters.
“I think there is blame on both sides,” the president said to reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Tuesday. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
Romney implored Trump to make it clear that there is no comparison between the protesters and the counterprotesters, and to fully repudiate the support of white nationalist or neo-Nazi groups that have sided with him in the past.
"State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100 percent to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville," Romney wrote. "Testify that there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis — who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat — and the counterprotesters who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute."
The relationship between Trump and Romney has been tumultuous over the last few years. Romney sought Trump's endorsement during the 2012 presidential campaign. In 2016, Romney called Trump a phony and a fraud. After Trump was elected, he reportedly considered Romney for the position of secretary of state but did not offer him the job.