Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, offered kind words to President Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden by calling them “honorable,” but in an awkward exchange refrained to make the same compliment about President Trump.
In a recent interview with Axios, Romney was asked if his 2012 competitor was an “honorable man.”
“I believe he’s an honorable man, yes,” Romney answered. “A good family man and he made a lot of mistakes. Most presidents do.”
“Is Joe Biden an honorable man?” Axios executive editor Mike Allen asked.
“You know, I don’t know Joe Biden terribly well, but from everything I’ve seen and the interactions I’ve had with him, he seems to me like a man of honor,” Romney responded.
Allen then posed the same question about Trump, which drew some criticism from the Utah senator.
“I knew where you were going, but I’m not going to let you catch me in a corner,” Romney said. “He has elements, I’m sure, of honor in his life and there are things that I think are not honorable. And, I mention that because of the payment to a porn star for sexual relations outside of marriage.
“Look, I’m one of those who believes we have a responsibility to be honorable and faithful to our wives and the president made a failing in that regard.”
The former Massachusetts governor was widely critical of Trump throughout the interview.
“People will recognize that character really is important in our leaders and that it’s important for our leaders to do things that unify us, that welcome people who come here legally as immigrants, that in no way signal to anybody in America that they’re less of an American because of where they came from or their sexual orientation or their race or their religion,” he said.
The senator added that the future will not be kind to Trump’s legacy, including his recent move to withdraw troops from northern Syria, which analysts claimed could be seen as abandoning U.S.-allied Kurdish forces. As Romney put it, “We should never abandon our friends.”
He also said, “Clearly, the world watches and people who potentially could be our allies at a critical time say perhaps the U.S. won’t stay with us. Perhaps they’ll cut and run if they think it’s in their best interest. And, walking away from the Kurds in a corner of Syria at a critical time when the troops coming from Turkey are intent upon doing them harm is something which I think would be a very dark spot in American history.”
Fox News’ Frank Miles contributed to this story.