Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said Tuesday he's fed up with how "vile" and "vituperative" American politics have become, placing the blame largely on President Donald Trump.
"I have stayed quiet with the approach of the election," Romney said in a statement posted to Twitter. "But I'm troubled by our politics, as it has moved away from spirited debate to a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass that is unbecoming of any free nation — let alone the birthplace of modern democracy."
"The president calls the Democratic vice presidential candidate "a monster;" he repeatedly labels the speaker of the House "crazy;" he calls for the Justice Department to put the prior president in jail; he attacks the governor of Michigan on the very day a plot is discovered to kidnap her," Romney said of comments Trump has made within the last week in Fox News interviews and on Twitter.
Romney then lamented commentary and actions on the left side of the aisle, saying Democrats "launch blistering attacks of their own — though their presidential nominee refuses to stoop as low as others."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., "tears up the president's State of the Union speech on national television," Romney said. "Keith Olbermann calls the president a 'terrorist.' Media on the left and right amplify all of it."
The latter comment appeared to be in reference to comments Olbermann, a former MSNBC and ESPN host, made on his YouTube vlog days ago, which he posts to Twitter.
"The rabid attacks kindle the conspiracy mongers and the haters who take the small and predictable step from intemperate word to dangerous action," Romney said. "The world is watching America with abject horror; more consequentially, our children are watching. Many Americans are frightened for our country — so divided, so angry, so mean, so violent."
"It is time to lower the heat," Romney continued. "Leaders must tone it down. Leaders from the top and leaders of all stripes: Parents, bosses, reporters, columnists, professors, union chiefs, everyone. The consequence of the crescendo of anger leads to a very bad place. No sane person can want that."
Romney's comments come days after federal authorities announced they had foiled a multiperson plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, something Romney had made mention of in his statement. Whitmer has tied the thwarted plot to Trump's rhetoric.
Romney has occasionally spoken out against the president and was the only Republican senator to cast a vote in favor of convicting Trump in his impeachment trial earlier this year.