"I will dispense for now from discussion of the moral character of the president's Charlottesville statements," the former Republican presidential candidate, 70, wrote in a statement posted on Facebook on Friday, August 18. "Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn. His apologists strain to explain that he didn't mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric."
After white supremacists and neo-Nazis rallied in Charlottesville over the weekend, Trump, 71, was criticized by leaders on both sides of the aisle for claiming "many sides" were to blame for the violence. He reiterated the comment during a chaotic press conference at Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday, August 15, telling reporters, "You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people."
Romney noted in his statement on Friday that the former Celebrity Apprentice host's remarks were repudiated by the "leaders of our branches of military service," as well as "our allies around the world."
"The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme," the former governor of Massachusetts continued. "He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100 percent to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville."
Romney then asked Trump to "definitively repudiate the support of David Duke," the former Ku Klux Klan leader who thanked the president for condemning "leftist terrorists" on the heels of the rallies.
"This is a defining moment for President Trump," Romney concluded. "But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children. They are watching, our soldiers are watching, the world is watching. Mr. President, act now for the good of the country."
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