It seems Republican Sen. Mitt Romney has short-term memory loss. This week he wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post in which he blasted President Trump for his leadership style. He opined that the president has not risen to the “mantle of the office.” Through the piece, Romney continually hit at Trump naming off each offense one-by-one. The article was a critique of Trump’s character, but a brief look at history shows that Romney’s has some flaws as well.
In 2012, Trump made a run for the presidential nomination but did not climb high enough in approval to continue, so he dropped out. After Trump stepped out of the race, Romney accepted Trump’s endorsement. In 2016, Romney tweeted that he would not have taken Trump’s support in 2012 based on some of the things Trump said on the 2016 campaign trail. It seems that Romney has forgotten his principles and tweets.
In February of 2018, Romney announced his senatorial run to replace now retired Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. Soon after his announcement, Trump tweeted his endorsement of Romney. After saying in 2016 he would not accept Trump’s endorsement, Romney took Trump’s endorsement a mere two years later. It was a strange acceptance for someone who prides himself on character and being so principled, especially against Trump.
For a man who claims to have so many values, he seemed to need the president. Romney felt his character, reputation, and public policy was strong, but he accepted the endorsement. If Romney was a man of his words, he would have declined it and ran on his principles, but he did not.
One is left wondering if Romney’s beliefs are real, or is his desire to be in politics more important. There seems to be a character issue here.
Romney’s article focused on Trump’s character. He blamed Trump for the division in the country, but America began to divide under former President Obama. Anti-Trumpers love to blame the last two years on Trump as if Obama never existed.
Has the anti-Trump army forgotten about Obama’s IRS's purposeful suppression of conservative groups, or how Obama denigrated Christians by calling them “bitter clingers," or maybe when he lectured the police days after five Dallas officers were gunned down while protecting Black Lives Matters protestors? Apparently, to Romney and his crew, those few examples were unifiers and brought “comity” to the nation.
Either Romney does not understand that “civility”- also known as bowing down, spinelessness, folding, weak-minded, and fecklessness in the GOP - was what Trump’s voters hated. Trump was elected because he was the exact opposite of the Republican Party leadership and the character that Romney touts. The Republican electorate was tired of “compromise,” which in truth meant that the Democrats get what they want and the GOP gets nothing.
GOP voters made a statement. Romney said that Trump’s conduct the last two years has been unbecoming to the Office of The President; however, nothing has changed. President Trump is the same as candidate Trump and still decisively beat Hillary Clinton. If anything, Trump has been consistent while Romney flip-flops for the sake of a political office.
I am not saying that everything Trump says and does it acceptable. What I’m saying is 3 million more people liked Trump’s personality and words more than Romney, and it is a pill he cannot swallow. At least with Trump, you know what you get and that is respectable.
Romney has been in politics for decades, and Trump never held office. Romney is soft-spoken; Trump is brash. Romney claims that compromise is the answer despite what voters want; Trump has not wavered from his campaign promises for the sake of alleged civility. It is starting to look like Trump has more political character than Romney.
Obama was not some great unifier, despite what the media, Democrats and establishment Republicans say. All of this supposed Trump-driven incivility should have his approval numbers in the tank. However, at this point in his presidency, Obama was at 47%, and Trump is at 46%. So who has the character flaw here? Trump or Obama?
Yes, character matters. However, before you point out one’s character flaws, make sure you delete the tweets that contradict your op-ed. Otherwise, you will be called out as a hypocrite.