Incoming Utah Senator and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney slammed President Trump's character on Tuesday, writing in a Washington Post op-ed that it fell short of what the country needed.
"With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent's shortfall has been most glaring," Romney wrote.
Romney, who criticized Trump in the run up to the 2016 election, said the events of the past month, including the departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly, marked a worrying decline for Trump's presidency.
"On balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office," Romney wrote.
Romney argued that Trump's "shortfall" set a poor example for America's "public character," while alienating U.S. allies.
"I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions," he wrote. "To reassume our leadership in world politics, we must repair failings in our politics at home. That project begins, of course, with the highest office once again acting to inspire and unite us," he went on.
Romney added that not all of Trump's policies were "misguided," but said the president should "unite us and inspire us to follow 'our better angels.'"
"To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow 'our better angels,'" he wrote.
Romney's comments come two days before he will be sworn into the Senate on Thursday. With the op-ed, Romney seems poised to become one of Trump's top Republican critics in the Senate.
Romney's swearing in Thursday will follow the departure of the Senate's most vocal Trump critics, such as Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).