By Robert Laurie
As soon as Mitt Romney clinched the 2012 GOP nomination, I knew. We were in for four more years of Obama. By the time election night rolled around, the polls had tightened and I had some sliver of hope that he might pull things off – but, still, in my heart of hearts I knew. Romney was not the kind of fighter that could take on an incumbent President and win.
My misgivings had nothing to do with his money. I like money. Wealth is a good thing. My \problem with Romney was that, from his time in Massachusetts right up until his candidacy, he’d been on both sides of virtually every issue. Gun control, healthcare, taxation, abortion, gay rights – you name it – if it was an issue, Romney had probably been on both sides of it.
Now, he’s in Arizona running for Senate and guess what? He’s flip-flopped again. This time he’s trying to have it both ways about Donald Trump.
The future, he predicted, would feature Trump as America’s leader at least for another six years.
“I think that not just because of the strong economy and the fact that people are going to see increasingly rising wages,” Romney said, “but I think it’s also true because I think our Democrat friends are likely to nominate someone who is really out of the mainstream of American thought and will make it easier for a president who’s presiding over a growing economy.”
The remarks from Romney marked a sharp reversal from his original impression of Trump. Romney briefly served as the face of the so-called “Never Trump” movement before the 2016 election. He delivered a scathing speech in Utah before the 2016 election, calling Trump “a con man” and “a fake.”
Yet Romney’s criticism has softened since then. And now, in the midst of a Republican Senate primary campaign, the former Massachusetts governor appears to be embracing Trump and his leadership role in the modern-day Republican Party.
That’s quite a reversal from this speech, delivered in March of 2016:
In the middle of that barrage, you’ll notice that Romney mentions the polls predicting Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton. That’s what’s really going on here. Romney sought to position himself as king of the NeverTrump movement at a time when ALL of the conventional (meaning DC insider) wisdom said Trump couldn’t win. Romney’s probably assumed that Trump would go down in flames, the party would be in ruins, and he’d be in the catbird seat saying “toldja so.” Then, Trump won.
Romney has been sheepishly walking back his attack ever since.
If Mitt really believed what he said in the now-infamous clip above, he should stick by it. It’s better to go down in history as simply being wrong, than to be remembered for …whatever it is he’s doing now.