Romney’s Sour Grapes

Whether Republicans support Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, or Senator Marco Rubio, they should be aghast at what Mitt Romney did last Wednesday.  He fed right into the Democrats’ hands as he denounced Trump, calling him a "phony" and exhorting fellow Republicans to shun him for the good of the country and party. This is coming from the person that lost horribly in the 2012 Presidential campaign. 

Who appointed him the leader of the Republican Party? A line comes to mind, right out of General Douglas MacArthur’s speech, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away,” but “politicians” should be substituted for soldiers.

It is no wonder that the Democrats always seem to have the upper hand on the Republicans/Conservatives.  They always appear to circle the wagons whether it’s the Supreme Court Justices on an issue such as Obama Care; Congress on an issue such as the Iran Nuclear Deal; or the electorate coming out in droves to support Barack Obama in 2012.  Contrast that with the Republicans/Conservatives who always seem to shoot themselves in the foot and seem very fragmented.

In taking a stroll down memory lane people should consider this before thinking Mitt Romney’s actions are anything but sour grapes. Below are some reminders of Romney’s disastrous 2012 campaign.  Going in reverse chronological order:

Not very many people can forget how he “wussed” out during the 2012 Presidential Debate, and did not forcefully respond to Candy Crowley or President Obama about his statement on the Benghazi attack.  As a reminder, it went something like this:

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because
it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi
an act of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: It - it - it - he did in fact, sir.
So let me - let me call it an act of terror...

OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

CROWLEY: He - he did call it an act of terror. It did as well
take - it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there
being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct
about that.

In fact, he was basically a one-issue candidate.  While others were calling on him to hammer the point home about Benghazi, Romney decided to focus all his energy on the economy. Gabriel Schoenfeld, a former advisor, argues that his inability to respond cogently to the Benghazi attack was a key component to being defeated.

He stated, “A man celebrated for his management prowess delegated an immense mount of decision-making power to individuals who failed to carry out successfully that and other basic functions.” He further states, “A central lesson from this chain of folly, almost too obvious to state, is that foreign policy matters….  It was a strategic mistake -- political malpractice -- on the part of Romney and his lieutenants to try to downplay its significance, an action they took early on the basis of an almost mechanical interpretation of poll data and the belief that President Obama possessed too many advantages in that area.”

Then there was the stupid “47%” comment made supposedly behind closed doors. Is he so outdated that he could not understand people can record on their cell phones, which they did? But more importantly, no matter how true it was, he gave the Democrats a rallying cry with the statement, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what … who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. … These are people who pay no income tax. … and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Steve Forbes wrote that Romney lost because the other side was able to define him as someone without any substance. In essence, he failed to mobilize the base because of an inept and uninspired campaign.  He said, “The Governor had good ideas on tax reform and other issues but most of the time his approach suggested they were almost sideshows.  Instead Romney hammered the poor economy but as Reagan could have told him that approach alone will not do the job for a challenger.”

Although attempting to appear presidential today, look no further than the 2012 primary campaign when he was anything but of the kind.  Having outspent opponents, it became evident money cannot buy love, but it certainly helped to buy a nomination. For example, outspending Rick Santorum 7 to 1 in Illinois, and Newt Gingrich 4 to 1. Hogan Gidley, Santorum’s national communications director in 2012 said this about his tactics, “This is Mitt Romney's pattern. He comes in and carpet bombs his opponents in every state with massive ad buys."

And Rush Limbaugh should be considered a prophet when he said about the negative vicious ad campaign against Newt Gingrich during the 2012 Florida primary, that Romney would never run these types of ads against Obama.

In fact, it appears we are going back in time.  Just consider what Newt Gingrich said of Romney in 2012:  "I've been Romney-boated.... Somebody who will lie to you to get to be president, will lie to you when they are president.” “Romney's not telling the American people the truth. It's just like this pretense that he's a conservative.... I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney, not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points." And about Bain Capital, “I do draw a distinction between looting a company, leaving behind broken families and broken neighborhoods, and leaving behind a factory that should be there.” Sounds familiar -- because it seems Romney took these talking points and used them in the recent speech about Donald Trump. Who is going to be attacked next, Senator Ted Cruz?

Mr. Romney has come out of the woodworks, yet should have stayed there. He is not one to criticize anyone. Why hasn’t he supported any candidate? Or does he have an ulterior motive? Just consider his recent words, “I’d vote for a conservative on the ballot -- and if there weren’t one that I was comfortable with, I would write in a name.” In hindsight that is what Republicans should have done in 2012, because his terrible campaign gave us Barack Obama for another four years. So, in paraphrasing General MacArthur, Mr. Romney “just fade away.”

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.