Mitt Romney, seeking a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, says he wouldn’t hold back on criticizing Trump

Mitt Romney, seeking a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, says he wouldn’t hold back on criticizing Trump
Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney said that he is on the same page with President Donald Trump on many issues, but he also wouldn't hesitate criticizing the president. (2016 file photo/Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says that if he is elected to a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, he would not hold back on criticizing President Donald Trump.

In an interview with the Salt Lake City Tribune, Romney pledged to “call it like he sees it.”

“You know where I stand and if he says something or tweets something or there’s some issue that I find that I can’t agree with, I’ll point that out,” Romney said. “He’s not going to change at his age. I’m not going to change, either. So, I’ll call them like I see them. But policy-wise, we’re going to work together.”

Does Romney think he can work with Trump?

Asked if he could work with the Trump administration, Romney said: “We have very similar views on policy. I’m probably more of a deficit hawk, but we can work on issues. I’m absolutely convinced of that.”

Romney, 70, said that he is on the same page with Trump on many issues.

“Well, the president and I are on the same page with regards to the policy agenda,” Romney told the Tribune. “I’m not pleased that he backed the 45 percent tariff idea and dropping out of NAFTA. But on taxes and regulation and bureaucracy, I mean, and his appointments to the Supreme Court and the other circuit and district court bench, we’re on the same page.”

Is Romney gearing up for another presidential run?

As far as another run for president, Romney says that isn’t going to happen.

“Look, I’ve got to dispel the notion that my running for president was just a steppingstone to becoming a senator from Utah,” Romney explained. “I’ve run for president before. I gave it two tries. I’m not running for president again. Thanks.”

Romney lost to former President Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential race. On Friday, Romney announced on social media web video that he is running for the Senate in Utah. If successful, he will replace Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) who announced in January he is not seeking re-election after serving seven terms.

What did Romney say about school safety?

Romney also weighed in on the school safety debate that is raging across the nation following the deadly school shooting in Florida.

“What is the best way to protect our kids? I’ve looked at federal legislation but there’s no federal legislation I’ve seen that would have prevented the attacks that have occurred,” Romney said. “I don’t support any of the federal legislation that’s been out there. I make an exception, by the way, for Sen. [Orrin] Hatch’s enhanced background bill. I have not read that but I’ve been briefed on that and that’s something I would probably support.”

State legislators should also be looking at what can be done, he added.

“And I think with regard to protecting our students in schools that states — state legislators in particular — ought to look to actions they can take. And I’m talking about the wide array of options. Maybe that’s police protection at schools. Maybe volunteers protecting our schools. Or entry systems at school property. Or intervention teams that would target kids who have said things or posted things that are disturbing. Or restrictions on purchases by a certain disturbed person. These are things that I think state legislatures should take a look at.”