Former [two time] Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney held a press conference today to launch a barrage against the current Republican front-runner, Donald Trump. All I can say is: where was this Romney before?
We can look at this vital question in two ways. The first is where was this aggressive Romney during his run against President Barack Obama? The second is where was this attempt to command the Republican party when it really mattered?
CNBC’s Rick Santelli, the originator of the TEA Party movement, discusses the first question in a way that is perfect. To him, a Romney with such vigor and energy would have taken the victory on issues Obama was given without question, especially on the economy and the War on Terrorism. The Obama presidency was extremely partisan, saw little policy success, and devastated the nation, yet Romney barely lifted a finger to challenge the extreme liberal on anything.
What we were given instead is a Romney willing to point out during a secret meeting that most of the nation paid no taxes but was unwilling to take the fight to the airwaves. Instead, he was pilloried in the media and put up no resistance on an issue he should have won.
The Romney of 2012 backed down on every issue and handed the Democrats the win because he was unwilling to fight. We could have used the Romney of today four years ago. With him as president, our nation would have not only had a real economy recovery, we probably wouldn’t have had the disasters across the Middle East we currently experience.
As to the second question, why is Romney getting involved now? He attacked Trump’s record as a business man (fine), his stance on policy issues (okay), and belittled his personal life (ugh), which are all standards in a campaign, but isn’t a little late in the game? If these all mattered so much, why didn’t Romney mention them last year when Carson was rising in the polls so that Trump could have been pushed aside? What strategic benefit is gained now when we’ve had so many states cast votes and caucus that there is an entrenched division in the party?
If anything, this would greatly harm the party as a whole. Instead of unity, there is a greater fracture, and Romney refused to endorse any single individual. When Romney openly asked today for Republicans to cast their ballots in a calculated manner to ensure a fractured convention, will his request cause even more pain and suffering in the end?
Any chance for the party to coalesce behind a candidate will be put off for months, all precious time lost when it comes to preparing for the general election. What we need now more than anything is for someone to win 50% of the delegates so we can avoid a brokered convention and any disastrous shenanigans that could take place.
Furthermore, Romney has taken upon himself the mantle of the Republican establishment, the very party elite who the Republican base has been distancing itself from for 6 years. A billionaire that comes out of nowhere to demand that the people act in any sort of manner will not work under the new paradigm. Then, when attacking Trump, he goes so far as to suggest that Hillary Clinton’s economic policy would be better, which is utterly ridiculous.
Those like Grover Norquist have made it clear that all of the Republicans would be preferable to Clinton when it comes to economic and tax policy, and a Democrat as president would only get in the way of any sensible reforms passed by Congress.
Most likely, this line of attack and the timing of this incident will bolster the Trump supporters, and it may even convince TEA Party sympathizers among Ted Cruz’s and Marco Rubio’s base over to change their minds.
The people are worried about games being played by out of touch politicians, and that is what drives Trump’s popularity. You don’t combat that by having an out of touch politician play a major game on television.
Where has Romney been these past 3 years and why is he here now?
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