This week the snake demanded the skunk leave the party. It made big news for a moment in snaketown, but the party rolled on. Mitt Romney told Republicans — no, he decreed from his throne– that Donald Trump is “a fraud, a phony,” and therefore unworthy of the Republican nomination.
Romney’s arrogance in trying to stop a horserace at the half-mile pole was exceeded only by his nastiness, as if he were a prosecutor reading an indictment.
Romney could have endorsed a candidate and pledged his help to that candidate. That would be honorable and even admirable from a civic point of view. But instead, he chose to throw a stink bomb, like a selfish, angry teenager who wasn’t invited to a birthday party.
To anyone paying attention to American politics over the past 20 years, Romney’s pretense of high-minded independence is laughable. His bad record and bad judgment give him no credentials as a referee among warring factions.
Romney’s motives are open to question. It was revealed this week that a “Romney for President 2016” account was opened in January at a Washington, DC bank by Red Curve Solutions, a campaign management company. The idea being floated by some pundits and “elder statesmen” is that Romney can be “drafted” at the Cleveland convention in July after the 2,000-plus elected delegates reject Donald Trump. That is one of the colorful fantasies popular in Washington these days.
The truth is that Romney has a dubious history of interfering in Republican primaries to manipulate the outcome—and more often than not, picking the wrong horse, and by that I mean the losing horse.
Romney did that in a Republican primary in Colorado in 2014, when, with the help of Gov. Chris Christie at the Republican Governors Association, another elitist enclave, he secretly funneled money to a front to finance an 11th hour Colorado radio hit piece against the leading candidate in the GOP gubernatorial primary— which happened to be Tom Tancredo.
Romney’s out-of-state “dark money” helped push the number 2 candidate — who had been the losing GOP candidate in 2006 — into the victory circle. Predictably, Romney’s chosen “sure winner” then lost the general election in November.
Sound familiar? Yep, Romney knows how to pick winners — and losers.
But let’s return to 2016 and Romney’s newest venture into king-making by way of political assassination.
For the record, it is well-known that I have my own reservations about Donald Trump and am supporting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as the most qualified and most electable candidate. Yet, I can neither endorse Romney’s elitist intervention nor condone it by my silence. Romney’s unprecedented, venomous attack on the leading candidate cries out for condemnation as totally unacceptable, traitorous behavior.My reason for speaking out is that more is at stake than Trump versus Cruz. Our nation is at historic crossroads, and a third term for Obama is a path that leads to utter destruction of the Constitution.
In 2016, the stakes are enormous, so yes, political rhetoric has gone off the rails. But even in perilous times, the people should have the final say, not unaccountable elites like the gang behind Mitt Romney.
As one of the characters in the movie “The Big Lebowski” said, “This is not ‘Nam, there are rules.”
- One of the cardinal rules is, thou shalt not insult millions of Republican voters by implicitly endorsing Hillary Clinton as preferable to the Republican candidate who has followed the rules and won ten of the fifteen primaries.
- This is Romney’s real message, and everyone who echoes him understands it: Better to lose the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton than put Trump in the White House.
That is what Romney is doing; he knows it, and so do the minions who follow his advice. He is willing to help elect Hillary Clinton if that is the price for “stopping Trump.” It is familiar territory for Romney and party elites: his father, Michigan Governor George Romney, did it to Goldwater in 1964 with help from Nelson Rockefeller.
Patriots have a message for all of the Mitt Romneys of the Republican Party: Sit down, shut up, and get out-of-the-way. The Cleveland Republican National Convention belongs to “We, the People,” the elected delegates, not to you.
Tom Tancredo is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Foundation and founder and co-chairman of Team America PAC.
Tom represented Colorado’s sixth congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009, and he is a former presidential candidate.
He is the author of In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security.