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The Least Self-Aware Moments in Mitt Romney’s #NEVERTRUMP Speech

[ 126 ] March 3, 2016 |

trump_n_mitt

It’s hard to understand how Mitt Romney’s intervention into the Republican race could possibly change anything. But that doesn’t mean we should deny ourselves its unintentional entertainment value. Here are some of the things said by Mitt Romney, in implicit defense of nominating either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz as the Republican candidate for president:

In 1964, days before the presidential election which, incidentally, we lost, Ronald Reagan went on national television and challenged America saying that it was a “Time for Choosing.” He saw two paths for America, one that embraced conservative principles dedicated to lifting people out of poverty and helping create opportunity for all, and the other, an oppressive government that would lead America down a darker, less free path.

Hahaha, yes, in the 1964 race Barry Goldwater was the candidate committed to lifting people out of poverty and creating opportunity for all, by, er, repealing Social Security and the Civil Rights Act. Fortunately, he lost in one of the biggest landslides in America’s history, which is central to Romney’s point.

[Trump’s] tax plan, in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements and to honestly address spending would balloon the deficit and the national debt.

I agree — America should not vote for anyone with a tax plan like Donald Trump’s. So, Clinton or Sanders then.

Now not every policy Donald Trump has floated is bad. He wants to repeal and replace Obamacare. He wants to bring jobs home from China and Japan. But his prescriptions to do these things are flimsy at best.

I agree — Americans should not vote for anyone with a quarter-assed plan to replace Obamacare. So, Clinton or Sanders then.

Let me turn to national security and the safety of our homes and loved ones. Trump’s bombast is already alarming our allies and fueling the enmity of our enemies.

Republicans should demand that a foreign policy centered around alarming bombast be delivered by someone with a better haircut!

Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed,

Whew, thankfully Mitt Romney has taken it upon himself to attack bullying and greed. Now, fetch one of his Cadillacs from the top floor of the elevator.

the misogyny,

As good Republicans, we want disabilities to be imposed on women solely through statutes, regulations and judicial opinions, not campaign rhetoric!

Watch how he responds to my speech today. Will he talk about our policy differences or will he attack me with every imaginable low road insult?

Watch carefully — will he respond to a speech that is mostly a string of insults by insulting me…but with more VULGARITY?

Mr. Trump has changed his positions not just over the years, but over the course of the campaign

Look how carefully Romney phrases this attack, which as a reminder is Mitt Romney attacking someone for changing his positions.

We will only really know if he is the real deal or a phony if he releases his tax returns and the tape of his interview with the New York Times.

If history has taught is anything, it’s that the Republicans should never nominate a plutocrat who is slow to release his tax returns.

Mr. Trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes. He creates scapegoats of Muslims and Mexican immigrants

Yes, the Republicans should never nominate anyone who would, make a scapegoat out of Muslims or Mexican immigrants! Their choice in 2012 was terrible.

he calls for the use of torture

I agree — Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz should not be president.

Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.

Republicans should nominate people who are strongly supported by con artists, not the con artists themselves.

He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

There are people who should use humor in public speeches. Mitt Romney is not one of them.

And in conclusion:

His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.

As with most of the of the speech, the problem isn’t so much that the criticism is wrong as that it applies equally to all of Trump’s rivals for the nomination. Perhaps this is the real problem.

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Comments (126)

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  1. rea says:

    To be fair, Romney was not slow to release his tax returns, unless “never” counts as “slow.”

  2. Rob in CT says:

    YOU BUILT THAT.

    edit: I’m sure there are lots of pictures left over from the 2012 GOP convention with We Built This plastered all over the place. Take those & photoshop Trump in.

    • Aaron Morrow says:

      So close…

      He inherited his business, he didn’t create it.

      Man, there’s too much comedy gold in here left to mine. Please tell me there’s a part two.

  3. JustRuss says:

    I don’t know, I kind of like the hat joke. But jeez, what’s this supposed to accomplish? Torture’s been part of the Republican platform for over a decade. If I were a Trump supporter, Rmoney’s scolding would just push me further into Camp Trump.

    • Nobdy says:

      But jeez, what’s this supposed to accomplish?

      It is supposed to make Romney relevant again (potentially as the kingmaker at a brokered convention).

      The time to try and actually STOP Trump has long passed, and even if you wanted to make a last-ditch effort Mitt Romney would not be your guy.

      The people who are voting for Trump had to hold their noses to vote for Mitt. This would be like if Hillary Clinton enlisted Chuck Schumer to attack Bernie Sanders. No credibility with the target audience.

      • efc says:

        The people who are voting for Trump had to hold their noses to vote for Mitt. This would be like if Hillary Clinton enlisted Chuck Schumer to attack Bernie Sanders. No credibility with the target audience.

        Great analogy. That’s to me why this whole thing makes no sense. The kind of people who want to vote for Trump are the kind of people who hated Romney. The GOP needs a Pat Buchanan, not a Mitt Romney, if they want to reach Trump’s audience.

        • Lost Left Coaster says:

          Yeah, Romney voters are probably going for, I guess, Rubio? Seems like they’d be Jeb! types, but they gotta go somewhere now.

          Oh, that reminds me, maybe the next thing the Republicans do to stop Trump’s runaway freight train momentum is to have a big speech by Jeb! That’s sure to be just as effective as Romney.

  4. Anon21 says:

    Hahaha, yes, in the 1964 race Barry Goldwater was the candidate committed to lifting people out of poverty and creating opportunity for all, by, er, repealing Social Security and the Civil Rights Act. Fortunately, he lost in one of the biggest landslides in America’s history, which is central to Romney’s point.

    Well but isn’t it central to his point? I thought the purpose of evoking 1964 was to warn that the GOP might be facing a similar disaster if they nominate Trump now. No?

    • Malaclypse says:

      Except he can’t bring himself to disavow Goldwater or Reagan.

      • Anon21 says:

        No surprise, re: Reagan, given his audience. (And I’m sure he loves Reagan anyway.) As for Goldwater, it seems sort of irrelevant to disavow him, given that he’s not a popular hero on the right and that his campaign was essentially the exact opposite of Trump’s (all ideology, no personality).

        • rea says:

          Although given that old George Romney, then governor of Michigan, refused to endorse Goldwater, his son’s failure to disavow him seems odd.

          Mitt was never even half the man his father was.

          • Anon21 says:

            I guess? Goldwater doesn’t seem like a particularly notable figure in modern conservative thought. He’s more important for the historical trend he kicked off (takeover of the GOP by conservatives) than for his own policies, positions, or personal qualities.

            Are folks also wondering why Romney has failed to disavow Wendell Willkie’s fecklessness in the face of the threat from Hitler?

          • Fozzz says:

            Basically committed political Seppuku by being honest to the American public regarding Vietnam. Although I doubt he understood the ramifications of that interview when it was given, it still took some backbone to put something like that out there.

            • rea says:

              Also, strong supporter of civil rights–the issue he broke with Goldwater on.

              • Time-warp George Romney to 2012, and he would have been a formidable challenger to Barack Obama. Imagine if that Captain of Industry shtick had been coming from someone who’d actually run and grown a productive manufacturing enterprise, instead of a vulture capitalist.

                • DAS says:

                  Time-warp George Romney to 2012, and he would have been a … Democrat

                • sharculese says:

                  One of the most interesting scenes in that Netflix documentary on his campaign showed him talking about his father, and when one of his kids says he’s just like him, Romney gets visibly angry, and starts explaining that his dad did the hard work, and he just got lucky to inherit it.

                  It’s a remarkably human and insightful moment from a dude you don’t normally associate that with.

                • Ahuitzotl says:

                  Mitt has a flash of humanity? time for an update to his OS

            • benjoya says:

              mcCain once told an anecdote about a conversation he had with goldwater:

              BG: you know john, if i had been elected, you wouldn’t have been locked up in a vietnamese prison.

              JM: yes, barry; it would have been a chinese prison.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Well but isn’t it central to his point? I thought the purpose of evoking 1964 was to warn that the GOP might be facing a similar disaster if they nominate Trump now. No?

      But Reagan was pro-Goldwater!

      • Anon21 says:

        It’s a bit of a muddled reference, but I don’t see what the point is of throwing in that reference to the loss if not to sound a cautionary note about repeating that experience. And it connects with his (ridiculous) later remarks about how the biggest problem with Trump, the man who is leading America down a path of authoritarianism and overt racism, is that his nomination could lead to the election of Hillary Clinton.

        • Aimai says:

          I hate to say it but I think my inability to understand Mitt’s point in that anecdote is related to the fact that I didn’t do well on some portions of the LSAT. I think it was the section where you had to figure out how many blue flowers were in a bouquet.

          • DAS says:

            I remember when the poli-sci majors hoping to become lawyers were studying for the LSAT. They never could get those questions whereas those of us majoring in math found them to be easy as they test exactly the sort of skills am undergrad math major trains you to have.

            • BiloSagdiyev says:

              DAMMIT! I was a poli sci major and those were exactly the questions that ground me to a halt. I had done well in math in h.s, but the “seven people seated at a round table, four of them wearing blue shirts but only sitting next to right handed people in a leap year” problems, well, I could figure them out, I suppose. But not in a minute or two.

    • Thrax says:

      Yeah, I think Mittens should have thought that one through some more. “Choose Cruz, Rubio, or Kasich because they love freedom just like Goldwater did and will lose 44 states like he did–wait.”

  5. malraux says:

    I wonder if Romney is interested in Trumps tax returns, not as a matter of honesty or public interest or if he really just wants to know if Trump is really that much richer than him.

  6. Joe_JP says:

    This sort of thing makes it harder for Kevin Drum types to insist that Rubio/Cruz might be horrible, but not Trump level horrible.

  7. hickes01 says:

    Remember when Mitt Romney, who holds an MBA from an Ivy League School, suggested the poor go the Emergency Room for Health Care? Good Times.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2012/09/24/romney-calls-emergency-room-a-health-care-option-for-uninsured/

    • Nobdy says:

      Unless I misunderstood something from the debate, “people should die in the streets” is part of Republican orthodoxy on American health care.

  8. Owlbear1 says:

    And it shall be known as Romney’s plaintive wail from an over-stuffed leather chair.

  9. tsam says:

    Is there any chance that this kind of stuff is a coordinated effort to prop up the “outsider” bullshit?

  10. Roger Ailes says:

    Were there any other parts of the speech?

    • DanaHoule says:

      This is the best 47% of it.

      BTW, Scott, this is great, but one thing rings false. His dad was the head of American Motors, not GM, so I don’t think Mitt would have a Cadillac. He probably drives a tricked out Volare or K-Car.

      • tsam says:

        GREMLIN OR GTFO

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        You are incorrect, sir.

        I am reminded that the security at my undergrad schools used AMC Hornets, which I never saw anywhere else.

        • so-in-so says:

          His politics are pretty different from his dad’s, so why would his car choices be the same?

          If his quest for president is part of a Daddy issue, he’s doing it wrong.

        • DanaHoule says:

          Sigh. I should have known he’d drive a Cadillac. At least they (were? still are?] assembled in Detroit (no thanks to Mr Let Detroit Go Bankrupt).

        • DAS says:

          My dad used to have an AMC Hornet when I was a wee one. And it was green. Yes … a Green Hornet! One of my first memories is playing in the backyard with the girl next door (calm down … let’s not get too caught up thinking what 3 year old DAS was up to), and then heading out to the front yard to say good bye to my dad as he was about to drive to an optometry conference in Vegas (I imagine about the most boring way to spend time in Vegas). Shortly after that trip, my dad got a new car: a yellow, Datsun 510 station wagon (that ended up being my first car). How I miss the Datsun. It was a good car. And for all I know, it’s still on the road (it was just getting to the point where it needed constant repair to keep running, but if you had a hydraulic lift and enough tools, no reason you couldn’t keep the car running indefinitely) …

          Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. I have seen an AMC Hornet … my dad used to have one.

      • CrunchyFrog says:

        Volare and K-Cars were, of course, Chrysler products. Chrysler bought AMC long after they debuted (although the K-Car platform persisted until the latter 90s). So if you’re going to go with the company that owns what used to be AMC, then he’d have either a top-of-the-line Mercedes from when Daimler owned Chrysler until recently, or one of the current Fiat luxury brands (Lancia or Alfa Romeo).

        • DanaHoule says:

          Volares and K-cars are funnier than Alfa Romeo’s.

          • CrunchyFrog says:

            The Volare/Aspen twins belong on a list of the worst quality cars ever made. Ricardo Montelban: “VO-LAR-E. Oh-oh. A pile of shit. Oh-oh-oh-oh.”

            K-cars were just boring, although their was humor in the many different ways Chrysler tried to dress them up at low cost to make them into different models during accountant Iacocca’s tenure. At one point every car in Chrysler’s line-up except the older Omni/Horizon was based on the K-Car, including the minivans.

      • Ask Me Gently says:

        Wouldn’t the chief of AMC have driven an Ambassador?

        • CrunchyFrog says:

          Just for memories I looked this old car up. And wouldn’t you know it? In the Wiki article there is this quote:

          In 1962 Romney left AMC to run for Governor of Michigan, a position that he won. The automaker’s new president, Roy Abernethy, who was responsible for the increasing sales under Romney, reacted to the mounting competition … in a logical way: “Let’s get rid of this Romney image.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMC_Ambassador

    • bexley says:

      He closed with: I’m Mitt Romney bitches and I’m the only other choice you’ve got left

  11. Nubby says:

    What I want to know is if he gave the speech to an empty chair?

  12. Karen24 says:

    Can we just sit back for a few minutes and enjoy the schadenfreude? Make popcorn? I know that most of these guys will fall in line eventually, because they are all authoritarian thugs, but just for a few moments I want to enjoy the feeling of pure, distilled evil pleasure at their misery.

    The one hope I have that they won’t eventually cave is that Trump himself has a long memory for insults and takes absolutely everything personally. Romney, and especially his supporters, will demand a certain amount of nice-making by the Trumpenproles, but Trump is likely to refuse to make any polite (note that “polite” and “politics” share the same root word) gestures to mollify them. If that happens I will have a party.

  13. Book says:

    This is the guy who lead the charge on BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! on September 11 2012 and held one of the sorriest press conferences in electoral history.

  14. Joe_JP says:

    Romney as the failed candidate dealing with what came to be is not quite as good as Gore giving a speech about excesses of the Bush Administration.

  15. CrunchyFrog says:

    As soon as Romney finished McCain issued a prepared statement concurring with Romney. So, obviously this is a coordinated effort. We’ve been expecting some sort of full scale attack on Trump from the GOP establishment so this is no surprise.

    But Romney? McCain? Who are they trying to convince by choosing these spokespeople? Are they that much out of touch with their base that they think these two have any credibility with Trump voters? Trump voters loathe the GOP establishment, *especially* because they feel that Romney and McCain were forced on them by the establishment the last two election cycles and that they lost the elections because of that.

    I’m getting the impression that the GOP establishment players have no understanding of why this is happening and thus no plan for stopping it. They’re just doing the things they’ve always done and hoping for a good outcome. I sense that their diagnosis of the problem is that it’s all Trump’s fault. If he would go away, so they seem to think, then they could continue with the code words and winks to the racist GOP base and all would be hunky dory. They haven’t gotten, yet, to the realization that the problem isn’t Trump, it’s what their voting base believes, and they won’t get to that realization until they’ve suffered some big election losses as a result. If the problem is just Trump, that’s relatively easy to solve. If the problem is that they’ve created an out-of-control propaganda infrastructure and a resulting out-of-control frankenvoter then there may be no solution at all.

    • Nobdy says:

      Who else do they have?

      Anybody who has credibility with Trump voters is too afraid to attack Trump lest he turn against them.

      What bullet is left in their gun?

    • John F says:

      I’m getting the impression that the GOP establishment players have no understanding of why this is happening and thus no plan for stopping it. They’re just doing the things they’ve always done and hoping for a good outcome.

      I think you are right, but for the life of me I can’t fathom how they can have no such understanding…

      OTOH I’m married to a woman who was born in and grew up in China- and even though she’s been living in the US & Canada for 30 years now every now and then on some issue she evidences no understanding of US Culture- but she absolutely refuses to recognize or is not capable of recognizing that she lacks an understanding.

      Mittens has spend his entire life ensconced in a conservative country club culture, to the extent he’s sojourned out into the world of business and worked with outsiders- that was in venture capital and did you ever meet those guys? Mittens has as much experience interacting with Mr. Joe Six Pack Rush L. Fan as I do interacting with goatherders in Somewhereastan.

      • ChrisTS says:

        Interacting with those goat-herders would be far more pleasant.

      • CrunchyFrog says:

        I’ve dealt a lot with VC people and their more evil counterparts (if that’s possible), the Private Equity guys like Romney was. And yes, while they have a certain degree of intelligence their biggest strength is that the ooze confidence about everything, warranted or not. Their biggest weakness in almost every case is the inability to recognize their own blind spots and weaknesses.

        I’ve seen companies heading straight for a cliff and the leadership being totally blind to that reality. Often that’s because recognizing the reality would require a lot of hard work and decision-making – easier to adopt a more rosy point of view, and I suspect that’s what’s happening here.

        At my previous company I noted that the entire sales pipeline was only 1.5x expected costs for the year, and that we’d been converting sales at a 1:3 rate. Put those numbers together and it meant expected costs were twice expected revenue. I quietly pointed this out (my role gave me weekly access to E-staff) and was given all kinds of reasons this wasn’t a problem. I left before the shit inevitably hit the fan.

      • Aimai says:

        That is a fantastic example and explanation of the phenomenon. There seems to be such an enormous cultural divide between the rank and file Republican voter and their supposed masters at the top ranks that these guys just can’t even begin to grasp the logic with which the voters make their choices.

        To me it goes back to the Bush II era line “we make our own reality.” They have had such a long time of massaging and manufacturing the information fed to their voters that they got lazy and thought that they had the equivalent level of mind control to an implanted chip. They are used to being able to control the dialogue, stovepipe the information they want, and get the candidates and votes they want. They seem entirely bewildered and can’t figure out which communication form and which “authorities” to send out to do this job for them.

        • CrunchyFrog says:

          The funny thing is the “make our own reality” fad was, when it started in the 1990s sometime, on to something. Too often planners would prune from consideration possibilities because they weren’t considered realistic. Yet many of the greatest achievements that have happened were because people “broke the rules” and changed what was “realistic”, such as the development of the 747 or the model for Federal Express.

          But the “make our own reality” was in reaction to overly-conservative decision making – which really had become endemic in the US in the 1970s and for many industries even into the 1990s. It was meant to counter a certain way of overly constrained thinking. That didn’t literally mean you could ignore reality completely, do what you want, and somehow the little people in your company would make it happen. However, that model became an American fad in the latter part of the 1990s (along with “Dow 36,000” and other daydreams) and was a big part of the Creative Destruction fad and the resultant failures at Enron et al and of course the middle eastern occupations.

          Unfortunately, “make your own reality” is a highly addictive management philosophy. “If we can just get the people to get excited and believe they’ve find a way to work themselves to near death and somehow make it happen”. Most modern CEOs have some anecdote they tell about how they set some sales goal and the sales people said it was too high and yet they still made it – and use that as *proof* that you can create your own reality. Duh. Sales people always say the goal is too high – they get bonuses for being over quota. But these anecdotes are out there and a lot of management today still thinks this way.

        • T.E. Shaw says:

          Fun fact: the “we make our own reality” attitude in American politics can be traced back to Kissinger.

          The analogy I’ve been making to people is that the establishment Republicans are to Trump what opiate pill mills are to black tar heroin. The former have a veneer of legitimacy and prosocial purpose, but the latter will get you a cheaper, more effective high (while using Mexicans as a conduit). Establishment Republicans primed their base for Trump just like the pill mills softened up Middle America for the Xalisco boys and their black tar.

      • gmack says:

        Meh. I mean, it might be that Romney et. al. don’t understand that they have no credibility with the “base.” But I think the explanation is simpler: They simply don’t have any options other than to come out and give these kinds of denouncing speeches. Seriously, what else could they do? Who else could they trot out? I’ll just put it this way: Sometimes, people make apparently bad decisions because they are too dumb to understand what the right one would be. But sometimes they make apparently bad decisions because there are no good decisions to be made. I think the Republican establishment is in the latter situation. If there were some easy way to stop Trump, they’d have done it. Hell, they’ve tried everything they could. Fox tried to kneecap him in the first debate; others have denounced him; they’ve had candidates take runs at him, etc., etc. None of it has worked. Romney’s speech won’t work either, but again, what else could they do?

        • CrunchyFrog says:

          Sometimes doing nothing is the best option – but a lot of people have trouble accepting that. (See also: head coaches and icing the kicker.) Well, we have to do SOMETHING – even if that something will actually make the problem worse, as in increase Trump’s support in this case.

          I know, it’s hard. But sometimes the slogan should be: don’t do something, just stand there.

    • AMK says:

      I’m getting the impression that the GOP establishment players have no understanding of why this is happening and thus no plan for stopping it……..They haven’t gotten, yet, to the realization that the problem isn’t Trump, it’s what their voting base believes

      Most of them know damn well what they’ve been up to for the past 30+ years, and they know damn well what their voting base believes.

      But I think it’s more of a Jurassic Park situation. A bunch of suits create monsters for profit. They know exactly what the monsters are capable of, but nobody really worries because the control systems are state-of-the art, so just hop in the car and watch the goats get fed to the T-Rex. Then the power goes out, the electric fences go down, and the T-Rex decides the people taste better than goats.

    • Cheap Wino says:

      This whole exercise is so ham-fisted. Can they really not imagine the myriad of ways Trump can successfully dismiss this?

      Reporter: What do you have to say about Mr. Romney’s comments today?

      sTrumpet: Well, I had so many more important things to do today I didn’t pay attention. Listen, this is a man who got creamed 4 years ago. He’s a loser. Why would anybody listen to what he has to say? People are supporting me because they know I’m a winner and will make America great again. Next question.

      Romney will be out of the news cycle before John Oliver can mention it on his show Sunday.

      • Rob in CT says:

        Trump already responded in that fashion.

        It’s so… obvious. They literally trotted out a loser. [Of course, their last winner is Dubya and he fucked up everything he touched, and the one before that was his Dad, a 1-termer they basically hate. Everybody before that is dead…]

        And yet these fucking incompetents control more than 1/2 of state governments and both houses of congress. Gah.

      • CrunchyFrog says:

        As usual Trump was even more effective in his slap down than we could imagine in advance. Something about Romney was on his knees in front of Trump in 2012 begging him to endorse him. Then he went on about how Romney lost an election he should have won – and THIS is the guy who is giving campaigning advice?

    • McCain issued a prepared statement concurring with Romney.

      I savour the thought of McCain popping up on all the Sunday interview shows to complain about the way the media are giving Trump free publicity and unpaid advertising.

      • CrunchyFrog says:

        And then they can have Rove – who paid all of $150k for the Swift Boat ad and let the Washington media run with it on 24×7 coverage for 6 weeks – do the same.

      • AMK says:

        McCain’s just going to say and do as little as possible, keeping his head down, trying not to commit to anything. He’s up for re-election this fall in Arizona, where the GOP’s feelings for immigrants make the deep south look enlightened. If McCain were just a purebred Thurmanite like, say, Jeff Sessions, he would be standing next to Trump with a hat on already. But in McCain’s case, being a crazy warmonger is not the same as being a stone racist, so he doesn’t want to be forced to take those positions before he absolutely has to.

  16. DAS says:

    As with most of the of the speech, the problem isn’t so much that the criticism is wrong as that it applies equally to all of Trump’s rivals for the nomination.

    So did Romney end the speech: “and that’s why I support Cruz … er … Rubio … er … well, screw it! I’m gonna just say it, we made a mistake in 1980 by not nominating John B. Anderson. And I’m urging you all to rectify this mistake. Nominate Anderson!” Heck … was the whole point in bringing up Goldwater to suggest the GOP nominate Hillary Clinton and let the Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders?

    *

    “all we get is a lousy hat” is the line that is most going to infuriate Trump. Trump’ll have you know that those hats are quality hats. And the demand for them is yuuuge!

  17. Timurid says:

    MITT fucking ROMNEY is accusing Trump of being born on third base?
    These people have no idea what they’re doing…

    • tsam says:

      They know exactly what they’re doing. Cognitive dissonance is a requirement for Republican voters. Hypocrisy, racism, sexism, fear of the “other”…all stuff that gets those window lickers fired up.

  18. Lost Left Coaster says:

    Trump is a horrible, horrible, horrible man, and if it were up to me, he’d be given a one-way ticket to the Sun.

    But I’m starting to wonder: if the Republican party really is scared and desperate enough to put Mr. 47% out there in a last ditch, hail Mary attempt to check Trump’s momentum, then is there really a chance that Trump’s nomination and possible election to the presidency could destroy the Republican party? I don’t mean damage, I mean destroy. Raze to the bare ground and then salt the soil. Could Trump do that to them? And if so, would that at least be a bit of a silver lining of all the horror that President Trump is bound to inflict?

    • Aaron Morrow says:

      A Republican Establishment campaign and a Trump-sponsored campaign* would both have to happen in order to tear the party apart. I just see too many ways for Republicans to shake the Etch-A-Sketch and come up with reasons to vote for Trump otherwise.

      As long as sore loser laws don’t keep Trump from running for VP, I could see, maybe a Trump-Trump ticket if Republicans pull a contested convention out of nowhere.

      More likely Republicans put Trump up there and sabotages him, in an attempt to save their own skin.

    • tsam says:

      No. After Watergate, then Ford pardoning Nixon, they spent 4 years out of the White House. They aren’t going anywhere. If we’re really lucky, there’s an outside chance they’ll figure out that unchaining the religious zealot and/or racists is hurting them and slap a muzzle on those fuckers. I’m not holding my breath, though.

    • CrunchyFrog says:

      We’re in uncharted waters. If this were the middle ages we’d be sailing far off at the corner of the the map where it says “There Be Dragons Here”.

      IMHO, the inter-party war becomes a reality in only one scenario, and that’s where the GOP establishment forces an establishment candidate over Trump at the convention. If that’s where they are going – and it seems like it is – then I’d say the GOP establishment has no clue about the pulse of their base. All of those primary wins by Tea Partiers in 2010 will seem like mild politics compared to the revolt that would be organized as a result. Keep in mind – unlike the Democrats the hard-liners in the GOP have a broad network of radio hosts, web sites, and funding to keep such a movement going.

      However, in scenarios where Trump wins the nomination – either on his own or by making a deal for some delegates – I don’t see a party civil war. Whether he wins or loses the general election the hard-line base would have gotten to chose the candidate. There would be hard feelings about how hard the establishment campaigned against him, but it wouldn’t be at the level of an internal civil war.

  19. wengler says:

    Shorter Mitt Romney: Trump can’t be President! He disavows a large part of our massively unpopular corporate agenda while supporting a large part of our popular evil agenda!

    Romney must be so sad to do this. Trump was the only candidate out there that might take him up on a ten thousand dollar bet.

  20. DrDick says:

    Self awareness is obviously not a conservative value.

  21. brugroffil says:

    But wait, you say, isn’t he a huge business success that knows what he’s talking about? No he isn’t. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it

    Weird. I seem to remember that the last GOP nominee was born into considerable wealth and political/business connections and enriched himself enormously often by driving companies to bankruptcy and crushing workers under his heel. What was his name again?

  22. CaptainBringdown says:

    Whenever I see the names Romney and Reagan appear together I’m reminded of this lovely image.

    (Safe For Work, but just barely)

  23. Joe_JP says:

    “If Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Dick Cheney and others are correct that the elite mass media is systemically misinforming America about nuclear weapons in the Middle East, climate change, Planned Parenthood, and the economic consequences of regressive taxes, why should anyone believe what the elite mass media says about Donald Trump. Donald Trump in this vein is no different than his rivals on the stage tonight. He just operates the Republican con better than they do. There are four con artists on the stage tonight, not one. All are dangerous to American democracy and human survival in their own ways.”

    http://balkin.blogspot.com/2016/03/republicans-play-liars-poker.html

  24. Fozzz says:

    Romney is telling Republican voters that they are too stupid and gullible to pick their party’s candidate, so they should willingly forfeit their votes and allow the party to do the picking themselves.

    Even if Romney wasn’t despised by most Republicans, how exactly is that messaging going to help the party?

    • Crusty says:

      “Romney is telling Republican voters that they are too stupid and gullible to pick their party’s candidate…”

      But they are.

    • so-in-so says:

      Gingrich left them his filing cabinet of “Newt’s Ideas” but kept the slim folder of “Newt’s GOOD Ideas”.

      Ok, it was a single sheet of paper. One of those pink “While you were out” notes.

    • Lurker says:

      This is, really, one aspect of the American parties that I often wonder at. You truly consider a voter a party member when he registers as “Republican” or “Democrat”. Over here, beconing a party member means actually petitioning your local party chapter for membership, and paying dues. Usually, if you are a member, you are also at least somewhat active: attending meetings and doing campaigning.

  25. tsam says:

    How do they not get that every time they do this, Trump only grows stronger? I mean shit guys–the pattern is well established. I recommend having a look at it.

  26. pianomover says:

    Religious anti-abortion pro-business that percentage that matters anti-poor speaks up, big deal.

  27. […] much what party elites are going to do: rally around Trump. We can also see this in the fact that Romney’s anti-Trump speech did not suggest that Romney would refuse to support Trump against […]

  28. […] tax plan and his health care plan and his misogyny and his racism, even though it took only a few minutes of googling to show that Romney’s own positions in his 2012 campaign on these issues were basically the same, and more extreme in some […]

  29. […] Scott Lemieux: The Least Self-Aware Moments in Mitt Romney's #NEVERTRUMP Speech […]

  30. […] course, the beauty of Mittens’s absurdly overpraised Act of High Principle is that everything required to repudiate it entirely should he win was already contained in the […]

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