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Sen. Mitt Romney calls on 'leaders of all stripes' to 'tone it down'

The Republican Utah Senator and 2012 GOP presidential nominee declared that politics has become "vile," "hate-filled" and "unbecoming of any free nation."

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is calling on “leaders of all stripes” to “tone it down,” warning that the high-pitched, election-season rhetoric will lead to “dangerous action” from their followers.

The Utah senator calls out both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in declaring that politics has “moved away from spirited debate to a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass that is unbecoming of any free nation.” Romney cites Trump’s comments calling Sen. Kamala Harris, Democrat Joe Biden’s running mate, a “monster” and Pelosi “crazy,” among other things.

He charges that Democrats, too, “launch blistering attacks,” though he offers fewer examples: Only the moment Pelosi ripped up Trump’s State of the Union Speech and a recent video by Keith Olbermann, a progressive political and sports commentator, calling Trump a “terrorist.”

Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee says Biden “refuses to stoop as low as others.”

Romney has said he won’t vote for Trump this fall but hasn't said if he supports Biden. The moderate Republican has been a critic of Trump's and breaks with his party at times on key votes.

Last month, Romney announced he would not oppose a Senate vote on Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, despite the election being just a few weeks away. 

Romney said in a statement on Sept. 22 that intends to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering Trump’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, “I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,″ Romney said. 

Romney’s views had been closely watched after two other Republican senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — urged that a vote be delayed until after the Nov. 3 presidential election.

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Credit: AP
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, meets with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trumps nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, not shown, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (Erin Scott/Pool via AP)