by George Rasley
That didn’t take long.
As soon as President Trump endorsed Mitt Romney’s candidacy to succeed Utah’s retiring Senator Orin Hatch and voters in the Beehive State handed the nomination to Romney (even though he actually lost the GOP State Convention vote) Mitt showed his true colors by back-stabbing Trump.
Romney told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt, in an interview that aired Sunday evening, that it is “too early” to say he will support President Trump in 2020, and just to make things perfectly clear, he said his prior prediction that Trump will get re-elected was not an endorsement.
“I also think Gavin Newsom will get elected [as governor] in California. That’s not something I want to see, it’s just something that’s probably going to happen,” Romney added.
Romney was also prompted to speak about whether he wants a Republican to challenge Trump in a 2020 primary.
“There will be people who decide, I presume, to get in a Republican primary,” he said in reply to a question from Ms. Hunt reported by our friend Daniel Chaitin of the Washington Examiner.
But Romney’s perfidy was well-telegraphed before he appeared on Far Left network MSNBC.
In a Salt Lake Tribune op-ed headlined, “Where I stand on the Trump agenda,” Romney, the front-runner for the seat that will be left vacant by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch’s retirement, made clear that if elected he would not walk in lockstep with Trump. Wrote Romney:
On one hand there are those who believe supporting the Trump agenda means supporting every policy the president proposes, whether or not they actually agree with that policy. It means refraining from criticizing anything the president says or does. The argument for this position is that you pick a team, so to speak, and when the leader of the team is criticized, his or her power to act is weakened and the opposition helped. So in order to achieve Republican policy aims, solid Republicans should stand with the president 100 percent, or at least stay silent when in disagreement.
I take a different course. I will support the president’s policies when I believe they are in the best interest of Utah and the nation.
CNN’s Chris Cillizza says It’s impossible to separate that view from the recent political context as well as Romney’s fraught relationship with Trump, and that’s a fair assessment. However, one wonders exactly where the Romney and Trump positions will diverge on today’s most important issues.
Will Romney criticize Trump’s economic policies that have brought record-low unemployment and rising wages for the first time in two decades, and instead argue for the United States to rejoin the Trans Pacific Partnership?
Perhaps Mitt will reverse himself once again to favor open borders, flip-flopping from support of E-verify and other Trump-supported policies that would diminish job prospects for illegal aliens to cause them to “self-deport” as Romney put it during his failed presidential campaign?
Or maybe Romney will oppose Trump’s policies toward North Korea and advocate the Obama and George W. Bush policies that he favored during his failed presidential campaign?
As Johns Hopkins University Korea expert Tong Kim noted during the 2012 campaign, “A Romney administration would clearly be tougher in rhetoric and attitude, but it does not offer new ideas that could disarm North Korea. Its policy represents a rehash of the hardline aspects of what the previous and present administrations have tried without much success. Romney has yet to offer more specifics on how he can accomplish denuclearization and secure peace and stability in Korea.”
When Senator Hatch retired and Romney decided to run and Trump endorsed him in a tweet saying, “@MittRomney has announced he is running for the Senate from the wonderful State of Utah… He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!”
Being nice to Kim Jong Un has a better chance of getting him to abandon his nuclear weapons than being nice to Mitt Romney has of getting him to support Trump.
Donald Trump and Mitt Romney have been antagonists practically since day one of Trump’s 2016 campaign. Romney has made it clear that it not so much Trump’s policies, although there are many disagreements there too, but Trump himself that is the object of his disapproval and he is running to be the leader of the #NeverTrump resistance, not to be Utah’s junior Senator.
We figure it is only a matter of time until the President recognizes the folly of trying to play ball with someone as perfidious as Mitt Romney has proven himself to be and goes back to what he said the first time Romney attacked him: Mitt Romney had his chance to beat a failed president but he choked like a dog.