Romney says government's initial response to coronavirus 'will not stand out as a great moment in American leadership'

Catherine Garcia
·1 min read

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) didn't criticize President Trump by name on Tuesday night, but he did share his disappointment with the federal government's initial response to the coronavirus outbreak, saying the speed of it "looked slow compared to other people. That first phase will not stand out as a great moment in American leadership. We didn't look real strong, and that's kind of an understatement."

He made his remarks during a video chat with Georgetown University students, The Washington Post reports. Romney had a weak relationship with Trump prior to voting for one of the two articles of impeachment against him, and since then, Trump has admitted he still holds a grudge and that's why Romney is the only Senate Republican not on a bipartisan coronavirus task force. "I'm not a fan of Mitt Romney," Trump said. "I don't really want his advice."

Romney told the students he learned about crisis management during his time as governor of Massachusetts and while running the 2002 Utah Olympics. "I'm not blaming this administration" for the slow coronavirus response, he said, but "it's hard to say to all 50 governors, you guys all do your thing. I think the federal coordination has been less than my personal style." Romney said he would surround himself with "real experts in crisis management," listening to "people who have dealt with this more than I have. The key to leadership is recognizing you're not the smartest guy in the room."

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