FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 file photo, Donald Trump greets Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, after announcing his endorsement of Romney during a news conference in Las Vegas. Trump is endorsing Romney in Utah’s Senate race, another sign that the two Republicans are burying the hatchet after a fraught relationship. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

If you get on GOP Twitter right now, you’ll witness a distinct division among most Republicans who simply do not like Mitt Romney and those who consistently act like it’s an affront to human decency if you criticize him.

Here’s what Romney had to say yesterday regarding Trump and Ukraine.

And here’s Trump’s response.

The rules are as follows. Romney is always allowed to go after Trump, even before all the facts are in. He can virtue signal his pants off, use words like “appalling,” and make bold proclamations with immunity. But the moment someone goes back at him, it’s automatically responses like this.

I’m seriously starting to think a certain segment of Republicans have a bot that runs in the background of their accounts and anytime Romney is criticized, a post calling him a “good man” is immediately put up.

And that’s the divide illustrated. Some are obsessed with decorum and the idea that Romney is above reproach. Others see him as the opportunistic, flip-flopping politician that he is. Let’s not forget that Romney was once unabashedly pro-choice and still supports Roe v. Wade. This is the guy who invented the Obamacare scheme and then opposed it when he ran for President. But he’s “good” because he generally carries himself in a way that makes Bill Kristol happy.

At some point, the Republican establishment class are going to have to accept the fact that Mitt Romney is never going to be a thing again. No matter how many times they tell themselves that Romney would have won in 2016 and Trump only won because of Hillary, we aren’t going back. People simply do not like the pompous nature with which he carries himself.

But it’s not just about that. The worst part about Romney, and what has turned so many Republicans against him, is how much of a coward he is when it comes to going after anyone but Donald Trump. That’s the easy thing to do. Bashing Trump gets you back slaps on CNN and praise from Morning Joe. There’s nothing brave about mouthing off about the President. What would be brave is Romney putting out a tweet going after Schiff for lying last week and telling Wolf Blitzer that he’s a sucker for having Schiff do it to his face. But did he do that? Of course he didn’t, just like he never put out a tweet criticizing the Obama administration’s behavior in 2016.

But if Trump does something, he’s always there to give his two cents. Most Republicans tired of this game a very long time ago. Voters notice when the virtue signaling only goes in one direction and it should surprise no one when they don’t respond well to it, no matter how “good” someone is.

Robby Starbuck put a thread out expressing a common sentiment.

Anyone that thinks Romney is sincere in his one-sided, select criticism of Trump is kidding themselves. This, like everything throughout Romney’s career, is simply about politics and power. He believes he can ride this storm out and keep his hands clean, somehow regaining prominence after 2020. It’s not going to happen and voters will make sure of it.

I’ll end by pointing out the hypocrisy here as well. The same people defending Romney for attacking Trump have repeatedly cited Reagan’s “11th commandment” to assert that Trump shouldn’t  criticize other Republicans. Why doesn’t Romney have to abide by that one? I think we know the answer.

While some are clutching their pearls, I’ve not no problem with Trump hitting back at Romney. The Utah Senator is welcome to not tweet if he doesn’t want to be responded to.

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