WASHINGTON – Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) borrowed one of Donald Trump’s favorite nicknames for his critics when asked if the ex-president called for the “repeal” of the US Constitution over the weekend.
“Well, the Republican Party is the constitutional party,” Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill Monday. “So if he asks to suspend the constitution, he goes from MAGA to RINO.”
Trump often refers to his Republican critics by the nickname “RINO,” which stands for “Republican In Name Only.” Over the years he’s used it as a disparagement against the likes of Romney, the late Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), and others in the GOP who have dared speak out against him.
The former president proposed a rerun of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday, citing newly released Twitter messages between leaders of the social media platform in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. The news will discuss content moderation decisions, including the company’s decision to block a New York Post story involving Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
“A massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the repeal of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social.
Trump later tried to argue for not saying what he said and accusing the media of spreading lies.
GOP congressional reactions to Trump’s comments have ranged from outright condemnation to lukewarm disagreement to blatant attempts to dodge the question. However, no Republican lawmaker has flatly ruled out supporting Trump if he becomes the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2024.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Trump’s social media post “was not to be said responsibly.”
“I don’t know why anyone would say such a thing; certainly not an ex-president. I just find it irresponsible,” Cornyn added.
“It’s a fantasy,” added Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). “I see it as a kind of Hail Mary to keep some hope when everyone knows it’s not. We are the Constitutional Party; That will not happen.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who is retiring next month to become President of the University of Florida, said his GOP peers “have to decide whether they’re for the circus clown or whether they’re for it.” the Constitution”.
Some of Trump’s biggest allies on Capitol Hill, including those who described themselves as “constitutional conservatives,” offered little more than a few polite words against the idea of torching the nation’s founding documents.
“There are no exceptions to the Constitution,” Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told HuffPost. When asked whether Trump should apologize or clarify his remarks, Paul simply repeated what he said.
“The Constitution stands and will stand for millennia to come,” added Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), another self-proclaimed conservative.
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) chided reporters for focusing on Trump’s comments instead of other issues like the economy.
“I’m not going to waste my time analyzing when he said that and how he said that. We should focus on the issues that are important to us at home,” Marshall said.
Some GOP senators have even more severely rebuked Trump’s comments. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said that the proposal to repeal the constitution “is not only a betrayal of our oath of office, but an affront to our republic”.
And Sen. Mike Rounds (RS.D.) said in a expression that “anyone who wants to lead our country must commit themselves to protecting the constitution”. But when HuffPost asked if Trump’s comments should disqualify him from running for president, Rounds disagreed.
“I think what happened on January 6th  is something he disqualified himself for, but American voters need to send that message,” he said.