So Mitt Romney was sworn in the other day as Utah’s newest senator, replacing the venerable Orin Hatch. To hear the media tell it, Romney is like a knight in shining armor, riding into town on his white horse, ready to rescue us from impending doom. Is that really the case, or is there something else going on here?
Before his swearing-in, Romney wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, which was regarded as a scathing rebuke of Donald Trump. To a certain degree, it was. He railed against Trump’s divisive rhetoric, as well as his haphazard approach to foreign affairs. Plus, Romney decried Trump’s total lack of leadership and moral clarity, virtues he said were essential for an American president.
But Romney also wanted us to know that some of Trump’s policies were clearly in line with his own beliefs, such as gutting ‘excessive’ regulations and giving corporations a massive tax cut. He conveniently forgot to mention the thousands of dollars in taxes that he has been shielded from, but that’s another subject entirely. The fact is, Romney and most of the Republican establishment are in agreement with many of Trump’s policies. They just don’t like how he behaves. Romney, with the op-ed, cements his standing with the never-Trump Republicans, as well as many voters who are on the fence politically. He says he has no interest in running for president. He’s simply there to do what’s right for his country and his state, as well has speaking out when Trump goes off the rails.
And therein lies the rub when it comes to Romney. All you have to do is look at the past and we can pretty much figure out what he’s going to do next. The man is an opportunist through and through. He lost out on the nomination in 2008 to John McCain. And of course he lost to Barack Obama in 2012, a race he thought for sure he would win. The man has the fire in his belly. He’s had it for years. It doesn’t just go away.
Let’s be honest folks … this guy is running. He saw a wounded and battered Trump, and he’s figuring that 2019 might be the year where it all comes to a head. He’s in the senate now. He can weigh in when Trump gets out of line, trying to show the country that he’s the only guy who can rescue us; to restore civility and repair our democratic institutions.
But for those out there who might be drawn to Romney … independent voters … anti-Trump Republicans … even some democrats who may have voted for Trump … let’s not forget who Romney really is. This is the same guy who was caught on tape calling 47% of the public an ‘entitled’ group who pay no taxes and want a bunch of free stuff — The same guy who thinks corporations are people — The same guy who railed against Obamacare even though it was nearly the exact same plan that he signed into law when he was governor of Massachusetts.
And when Romney says he agrees with Trump’s actions on gutting regulations, we need to ask him specifically which ones he’s talking about. For instance, does he agree with allowing the coal companies to dump in our streams and rivers? Does he agree with allowing increased off-shore drilling near our fragile coasts? Does he agree with allowing companies to release more methane into the atmosphere? Does he agree with Trump’s plan to weaken fuel-efficiency standards?
We need answers to these questions. When and if the time comes, Romney will have to come clean on these and other divisive issues facing our country. To be sure, this is not to say that Romney is not qualified to be president of the United States. He clearly is, much more so than the current man in that job. He’s had a distinguished career. He’s been a governor. He’s been a successful businessman. He ran the Olympics. Nobody is saying that he couldn’t do the job.
No, the real issue here is to point out who the man is. He wants to be president. He thinks he should be president. To say otherwise would be a disservice. And while we should commend him for standing up to Trump in his op-ed, do we really believe it’s sincere? Remember, it was only two years ago that we saw a somewhat sheepish-looking Romney sitting at a dinner table with Trump, hoping to be offered the job of Secretary of State. This was of course after calling Trump a fraud, and telling the American people how unqualified he would be as president.
So much for sticking to his principles.
Thus, before we anoint Mitt Romney as the next savior of the republic, let’s remember him for the opportunist that he is. He smells blood in the water. He’ll say and do whatever he has to in order to achieve his ultimate goal. This cannot be lost on the American people. When he speaks out against Trump, he will be lauded by the media for his courage and reasoned opposition.
Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up?