Mitt Romney has kept an aggressively low profile since getting blown out by President Obama on Nov. 6. So perhaps it’s no surprise that he didn’t travel to Washington, D.C. for today’s inauguration. But the failed GOP presidential nominee reportedly didn’t even watch the event on TV.
Romney put out word through people close to him that he wasn’t going to watch President Obama take his ceremonial oath on Monday. Instead, he planned to be at one of his homes in La Jolla, Calif.
A Romney aide told NBC the former Massachusetts governor and his wife Ann have “no big plans.” And when asked if he’d watch the ceremonies, the aide said, “doubtful.”
Romney’s absence makes him the first losing candidate not to attend since 1989, when Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis didn’t attend George H.W. Bush’s swearing in. Instead, he stayed in his home state, watched on TV, and ate a tuna sandwich.
MNSBC host Lawrence O’Donnell weighed in on Romney’s no-show, saying it was an “understandable choice to not come here [to Capitol Hill] especially if you’re not a man of Washington…I get that, but I don’t get why you have to take that extra step and say ‘I’m not gonna watch.’”
“It isn’t the moment where he should have announced that about himself,” O’Donnell added.
Host Rachel Maddow said by making it known he wasn’t going to watch, Romney was “making himself the story.”
Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, did attend the inauguration and even tweeted “I congratulate President Obama on his inauguration, and I join the country in celebrating this American tradition.”
Also not in attendance: former President George W. Bush, who has barely been seen in public since he attended Obama’s first inauguration four years ago.