Mitt Romney’s lengthy Facebook post calls for President Donald Trump to apologize

Mitt Romney called on President Donald Trump Friday to apologize for his comments about Charlottesville, Virginia, saying the President’s remarks this week “caused racists to rejoice.”

“The potential consequences are severe in the extreme,” Romney wrote in a Facebook post. “Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize.”

He said that Trump’s remarks — in which he blamed “both sides” for inciting violence, an equivocation between neo-Nazis and those protesting them — had a hurtful impact on the nation.

“Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn,” Romney wrote. “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.

Romney also called this a “defining moment” for Trump.

“But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children,” he concluded. “They are watching, our soldiers are watching, the world is watching. Mr. President, act now for the good of the country.”

Romney was a forceful critic of Trump during his 2016 campaign, at one point even calling him “a phony, a fraud.” Trump fired back that Romney was a “choke artist” and “failed candidate” in the 2012 election.

However, after Trump won the election, the two mended their relationship and Trump even considered appointing Romney as his secretary of state.

This isn’t the first time Romney spoke out about Charlottesville. He tweeted earlier this week, “No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes.”

This is the message Romney posted to Facebook:

“I will dispense for now from discussion of the moral character of the president’s Charlottesville statements. 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.

The leaders of our branches of military service have spoken immediately and forcefully, repudiating the implications of the president’s words. Why? In part because the morale and commitment of our forces–made up and sustained by men and women of all races–could be in the balance. Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate; America’s ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished. And who would want to come to the aid of a country they perceive as racist if ever the need were to arise, as it did after 9/11?

In homes across the nation, children are asking their parents what this means. Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims are as much a part of America as whites and Protestants. But today they wonder. Where might this lead? To bitterness and tears, or perhaps to anger and violence?

The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville. Testify that there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis–who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat–and the counter-protestors who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute. And once and for all, he must definitively repudiate the support of David Duke and his ilk and call for every American to banish racists and haters from any and every association.

This is a defining moment for President Trump. 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.”