Mitt Romney rejected President Trump's assertion Tuesday that "both sides" were responsible for the violent rally in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend.
"No, not the same," the former Republican nominee for president tweeted. "One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, another GOP establishment statesman, also rebuked Trump, criticizing his former presidential opponent for trying to "parse" the assignment of blame.
"This is a time for moral clarity, not ambivalence," Bush said in a statement. "I urge President Trump to unite the country, not parse the assignment of blame for the events in Charlottesville. For the sake of our country, he must leave no room for doubt that racism and hatred will not be tolerated or ignored by his White House."
The comments from Romney and Bush come after Trump reverted Tuesday to his original perspective on the rally, equating the actions of white supremacists there with counter-protesters, some representing left wing groups.
He told reporters at Trump Tower that the media has not sufficiently criticized "alt-left" groups that also participated in the Charlottesville rally.
Under political pressure, Trump on Monday singled out "KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups" for condemnation, after neglecting to name the groups in his initial statement on Saturday.
But on Tuesday, he said there are "fine people" on both sides, along with some "bad people."