promised, Mitt Romney delivered a lengthy rebuke to Donald Trump this morning, condemning the Republican Party’s 2016 frontrunner on practically every imaginable front. Whether this helps or hurt Trump remains to be seen – drawing criticism from a failed GOP insider tends to reinforce Trump’s entire campaign message – but the former governor seemed to draw satisfaction from the fact that he was able to reprimand his former ally.As
There was no Q&A portion of today’s event, though there are a few follow-up questions I’d love Romney to consider.
* At the beginning of your remarks, you referenced Reagan’s 1964 remarks in which he said it was a “time for choosing.” At the time, Reagan was defending Barry Goldwater, running on a platform that was hostile towards civil rights, and who generated skepticism from the Republican establishment. Do you not see the irony of using it now against Trump?
* You said today that Trump’s business practices “crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them.” Have you heard about Bain Capital?
* In reference to Trump, you said, “He inherited his business, he didn’t create it.” You are aware of your own inheritance, right?
* Today you argued, “If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into a prolonged recession.” But four years ago, you said, “Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people.” Other than time elapsing, what’s changed?
* When you criticized “Trump University” for its dubious business practices, did you forget about your own troubled past with predatory for-profit schools?
* You criticized Trump today over his support “for the use of torture.” Do you not recall the fact that your campaign took effectively the same position four years ago?
* On Twitter today, you said you wouldn’t have accepted Trump’s endorsement in 2012 if he’d used ugly rhetoric at the time about the KKK, Muslims, Mexicans, and the disabled. So, by implication, does that mean you were perfectly comfortable with his racist conspiracy theories about President Obama in 2012? His ridiculous “birther” crusade was inoffensive to you, but his more recent rhetoric is upsetting?
* Looking ahead, your remarks called for tactical voting in GOP primaries: “[T]his means that I would vote for Marco Rubio in Florida, for John Kasich in Ohio, and for Ted Cruz or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state.” Have you given thought to the fact that this would effectively guarantee a contested election, at which point the party could consider anyone for the nomination – including you?
None of this is intended as a defense of Trump. All of this is intended to suggest perhaps Mitt Romney is the wrong messenger for this particular message.