Mitt Romney returned to the spotlight this weekend in his first major interview since losing the presidential election, and quickly proved he still has no clue why he lost.
When asked why minority voters preferred President Obama by such large margins, he pointed to “Obamacare,” only a slightly more nuanced answer than the “free stuff” excuse he gave in December.
He accused Obama of “failing to lead” while failing to recognize his own lack of leadership. When criticized for rejecting the 10-to-1 ratio of cuts to tax increases, Romney’s response might as well have been “I didn’t want to look like a flip flopper.” Of course, he wouldn’t have ever had to flip on the issue, if he’d had the courage to be a moderate during the primary season.
But while Romney proved his continued irrelevance, another Republican emerged from the shadows.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush refused to rule out a potential 2016 run in his Monday Today Show interview, and some experts believe his more moderate stances on many issues could help him revive the GOP, but Patricia Murphy of Citizen Jane Politics thinks his name will be his Achilles heel. Bush fatigue is simply too strong in the Republican party, she said. “No Bush can be ‘the one’.”
The other big problem may be the myth of his moderate view point: although he’s willing to praise Chris Christie, he apparently won’t endorse a path to citizenship in his new book. That position could be politically dangerous since nearly two-thirds of Americans disagree with him, and especially dangerous for a party whose biggest problem lies with minority voters. The GOP would be smart to embrace a candidate with a more moderate stance, but it’s not yet clear that they are willing to.