When Mitt Romney lost his second presidential campaign in 2012, he left the national stage in an unpleasant way. He fared far worse than Republicans expected, and quickly became a pariah and a “punching bag” in GOP circles. TPM’s Josh Marshall said at the time the Republican revulsion towards Romney amounted to “Lord of the Flies” treatment.
But nearly three years later, Romney is convinced he’s not only recovered from his defeat, but he’s actually one of his party’s self-proclaimed leaders. It’s not clear whether anyone actually wanted Romney to tackle the roles, but he’s now an “elder statesman” within the GOP. The former governor even sees himself as a “kingmaker.”
appearance on msnbc this morning, when he shared his new thoughts on Hillary Clinton:But there’s yet another hat Romney is apparently eager to wear: the attack dog. Consider the Republican’s
“Somehow, though, when you see her on a stage or when she comes into a room full of people, she is smiling with her mouth, but her eyes are saying, ‘Where’s my latte?’”
The more I think about this, the less sense it makes, but it seems there’s a point at the root of the criticism: Mitt Romney is comfortable questioning Hillary Clinton’s authenticity.
To put it mildly, it’s an ironic line of attack given Romney’s background. What’s next, Romney complaining about Clinton’s wealth? Actually, in the same msnbc interview:
“How can she get up there and sell a populist message when she makes in one hour a multiple of what the average American will make in a year?”
This is simply incoherent – plenty of political leaders of means have championed the interests of working families. Just as important, since when does Romney feel justified going after foes based on their wealth?
Finally, there was this gem:
“I’m sure she’ll become more effective as time goes on. But at this stage, what does she really believe? I think people wonder can they really trust Hillary Clinton?”
If there’s anyone in America who should avoid a discussion about who deserves trust, it’s Mitt Romney.