Willard “Mitt” Romney was able to capture the Republican nomination in 2012 in part bu running to the furthest right of the major candidates on immigration. He proudly accepted the endorsement of Donald J. Trump, the New York City real estate grifter and reality TV star who became a major figure in the Republican Party by popularizing a racist conspiracy theory about Barack Obama. (Fortunately, Trump immediately returned to obscurity because of the Republican Party’s famous intolerance of nutty conspiracy theories.) In short, Mitt Romney may well be more responsible than any other individual in the Republican elite for normalizing Donald Trump and his politics.
Perhaps realizing this, surely believing that Donald Trump was less likely to win than his competitors in the Republican primary, and correctly believing that the political reporters tend to be easy marks for this kind of thing, Romney gave a massively overpraised anti-Trump speech during the primaries, expressing themes he did not return to during the general.
Trying to square the circle, Romney claimed that he had accepted Trump’s endorsement having no idea that someone who popularized the theory that Barack Obama was born in Kenya had racist views. I can’t imagine that Romney would dream of backing off from this grand statement of principl…
Oh well pic.twitter.com/gdCFecl5J3
— Sam Stein (@samstein) February 20, 2018
He’ll TOTALLY stand up to Trump in the Senate, though! The
Great Pumpkin Republican pivot is coming!