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Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel sided with President Donald Trump over her uncle Mitt Romney, slamming the Utah senator-elect for writing an op-ed in which he criticized the President. Bob Corker's (R., Tenn.) charge that the government shutdown is a "made-up fight" ginned up by President Donald Trump, Romney said the shutdown is regrettable but a border wall is necessary. Paul stressed how much the president campaigned for and helped other Republican senators, and compared the Never-Trump movement that he sees Romney as identifying himself with to the hawkish neocons who also attacked Ronald Reagan for negotiating with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

"For an incoming Republican freshman senator" to attack Trump, she tweeted, "is disappointing and unproductive". Pres. Trump has asked her to serve another term as RNC Chair through his 2020 re-election campaign.

Days away from joining the Senate's Republican majority, Romney broadly criticized Trump's policies and character in a newspaper column, arguing that the president "has not risen to the mantle of the office". He hates Trump (not without cause) and sees the role of leading Republican critic of Trump as a good way to cap off his career. Trump endorsed him in his Senate bid past year.

Romney credited Trump in the op-ed for cutting corporate taxes, stripping out what he described as excessive regulation and appointing conservative judges.

Brushing aside the fact that Trump often personally attacks and insults other politicians, Paul said Romney's criticism of the president's character was a "big mistake" and an attempt by the new senator to present himself as "holier than thou".

Paul also took a run at the presidency.

"I think the president is very honest when he says he wants to secure the border, and how you get there is a real question".

Trump lashed out at Romney via Twitter and later, speaking at a Cabinet meeting, said he wished Romney "could be more of a team player".

But the two appeared to bury their bitterness, with Trump briefly considering Romney for secretary of state after he won the 2016 presidential election and, in February 2018, endorsing Romney's run for the Senate.

But this is where Trump, and therefore America, is falling down, Romney claims. If Sen. -elect Romney thinks Trump is a bigger problem than Nancy Pelosi or Sen. "The world needs American leadership", Romney wrote, "and it is in America's interest to provide it". While stating that he, Paul, according to his voting record has "opposed the president more than any other Republican in the Senate" (and singling out tariffs as a prime area of disagreement with Trump), he believes other senators should emulate him in treating Trump "with dignity and with respect". "I hope not", Trump snarked, in a reference to departed Sen.

But Romney also ruled out a 2020 bid. Many key Republicans who challenged Trump, notably Sens. "I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault". But no, I'm not running again.

"I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions", he wrote.