American traditions generally hold that failed presidential candidates gracefully stand aside, withdrawing from the national spotlight. Over the last couple of years, however, Mitt Romney has largely ignored these norms, instead investing considerable energy in attacking President Obama on a nearly full-time basis.
But as the 2016 cycle gets underway, Romney is not above going after the next Democratic nominee, too. The former governor sat down with Yahoo’s Katie Couric over the weekend, and portions of the interview ran on ABC’s “This Week.”
COURIC: If you were in Hillary Clinton’s shoes right now, what would you do about this controversy surrounding her e-mails?ROMNEY: Well, I think it’s hard for me to make that assessment, because I don’t know what she’s hidden, I don’t know what she has in her server at home, I don’t know she deleted. But it’s a mess. I mean what – what you see here is Clintons behaving badly. I mean we’ve seen this before. It’s always something with the Clintons….
Oh, for crying out loud. During his failed presidential bid, voters learned that Romney oversaw the purchase of 17 state-issued hard drives in order to destroy electronic copies of emails from his gubernatorial office. He wiped clean computers and servers to make sure his communications during his term would never come to light. To replace the equipment, Team Romney used public funds, costing taxpayers nearly $100,000.
Romney later admitted that all of these efforts were intended to hide official correspondence from the public and keep potentially-embarrassing information under wraps in advance of his presidential campaign.
This is the guy who wants to go on the offensive on the issue of email transparency? Seriously?
In related news, Romney’s allies on Capitol Hill haven’t lost interest in Clinton’s private emails, either. Alex Seitz-Wald reported the other day:
The House Committee investigating the Benghazi terror attacks formally requested the all-but-declared presidential candidate to turn over her private email server to a third party in a letter to her lawyer Friday. […]The committee, chaired by South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, asked Clinton to give her server to a “neutral, detached and independent third-party,” suggesting the State Department’s inspector general.
Keep in mind, there’s nothing to suggest Clinton’s emails are damaging, controversial, or even related to the latest in a series of Benghazi investigations, but GOP lawmakers are apparently curious anyway and appear to be on something of a fishing expedition.
For her part, Clinton has not shown any interest in the Republicans’ requests, saying her private communications will remain private.