During a televised Q&A with reporters on Wednesday, President Donald Trump punched back at Mitt Romney saying if he had fought Barack Obama in 2012 with the same effort he’s fighting now, he would have won the election.
Romney penned a blistering op-ed in the Washington Post on Tuesday, slamming Trump’s character and behavior in the White House, saying it is not at the level we should expect from a president. Trump didn’t take the criticism lying down, fighting back against Romney’s criticism with a jab over his loss in the 2012 presidential election.
“If he fought really hard against President Obama like he does against me, he would have won the election,” said Trump.
Trump also touted his decision to reduce the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments last year, while falsely claiming he has great popularity in Utah and briefly forgetting Sen. Orrin Hatch’s name.
“I have great popularity in Utah. I love the people of Utah. I did something for them that nobody else would have done, that had to do with their parks,” said Trump. “We did that for a very special person who is now going to be retiring after 42 years, a great friend, a great senator, who is really a spectacular plan and also for Mike Lee, who really pressed it very hard. So Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee. And the people of Utah really appreciate what I did for him. Hundreds and hundreds of miles of park that they’ll be able to now use as opposed to not.”
Trump carried Utah in the 2016 election but did not win a majority of voters, taking just 45.5% of the vote. His approval rating has remained below 50% in Utah since then, topping out at 48% in February of last year.
Trump endorsed Romney in his 2018 Senate race, but the two men were at odds during the 2016 presidential race when Romney famously called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud.”