It was no coincidence that 2012 losing presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered a character assassination of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump on the day of yet another debate. Romney’s attack on Trump might be viewed as politics as usual except for his own record in both politics and business.
Romney never unloaded on his Democrat competitor Barack Obama with the level of intensity he displayed on Thursday. Obama cleaned Romney’s clock in the general election.
Is the fix in? Geraldo Rivera on Fox and Friends on Friday had some harsh criticism for the former Massachusetts governor who served only one term.
Romney obviously wants a brokered convention. He told one network he doesn’t want to run for president again and he listed Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) as acceptable nominees. Although Romney mentioned Cruz, it is highly unlikely the GOP machine would favor the outspoken Texas senator in any negotiations.
However, if the convention did end up at the bargaining table, there is no guarantee for any of those candidates. Nor would there be for Trump. Anything can happen on the floor.
Most of us simply want an honest process that gives equal weight to Republican voters. The donor class prevailed in 2008 and 2012, delivering 8 years of a Democrat administration whose policies have further damaged the middle class and disadvantaged businesses not on the unofficial crony list. See Gibson Guitars as one of many examples.
While it’s perfectly understandable for a former nominee to criticize a candidate, Romney went far beyond criticism in his speech on Thursday. His dismissal of millions of voters does not bode well for the GOP.
Rivera said Romney “put his own desire to defeat Donald Trump” ahead of defeating Hillary Clinton. Romney, said Rivera, gave the “harshest possible interpretation of Trump’s past.”
Rivera became more intense as he spoke, and perhaps to run defense for Romney, the female co-host cut Rivera off and began shrieking about Rivera potentially doing a stint on Dancing with the Stars.
I am not exaggerating. She was shrieking.
As most who have access to the Internet know, Romney had praised Trump in 2012 for his “extraordinary ability” in the business world. Romney was endorsed by Trump at that time.
Romney made a glaring omission about his own business record as he assailed Trump on Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal did an analysis of Romney’s financial record when Romney was running the big money firm Bain Capital. Here’s what the WSJ, no fan of Trump, found about the “77 businesses Bain invested in while Mr. Romney led the firm”:
“Among the findings: 22% either filed for bankruptcy reorganization or closed their doors by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested, sometimes with substantial job losses. An additional 8% ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost.
Another finding was that Bain produced stellar returns for its investors—yet the bulk of these came from just a small number of its investments. Ten deals produced more than 70% of the dollar gains.
Some of those companies, too, later ran into trouble. Of the 10 businesses on which Bain investors scored their biggest gains, four later landed in bankruptcy court.”
Romney is a high profile member of the donor class, and he as well as some others who played direct roles in GOP losses for the White House in 2008 and 2012 appear unwilling, just as the Democrats are this cycle, to permit voters’ voices to play a decisive role in determining the 2016 nominee.
Is Romney aiding and abetting Mrs. Clinton’s White House run? It appears he is. For voters in both parties, it appears the fix is in when it comes to who will be the nominees come November.
Considering his record at Bain Capital, it’s hard to see how Romney can criticize Trump’s financial practices. In one sense, Romney went “Obama” on Trump because in 2012, Obama delivered the same scathing criticism to his GOP competitor. As ABC News disclosed, “One top Obama adviser even suggested Romney committed a felony and lied about when he stopped working for Bain.”
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 4, 2016)
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