Mitt Romney running away from 'NeverTrump' label
In a telling sign that the "NeverTrump" faction of Republicans has become a joke among voters, if not among pundits, Mitt Romney, former GOP nominee for president and current nominee for senator in Utah, claimed that the label does not belong before his name. ABC News reports:
Mitt Romney came to Arizona to help out a fellow Senate hopeful and he ended up getting in a jam himself.
The former presidential candidate and governor headlined a rally for Rep. Martha McSally on Friday in Gilbert, Arizona, to help boost her campaign to fill the Senate seat being left open by Sen. Jeff Flake's departure, but comments Romney made after the event have drawn some criticism.
When Romney was asked what happened with his efforts to stop Donald Trump from becoming president in 2016, Romney denied being a leader in the so-called "never Trump" movement.
"I don't think that was the case," Romney said.
"President Trump was not the person I wanted to become the nominee of our party, but he's president now. The policies he's promoted have been pretty effective. And I support a lot of those policies. When there's a place where I disagree, I point that out," he said.
Good for him, admitting that Trump has been "pretty effective." As far as denying being a NeverTrump goes, it flies in the face of a lot of evidence. For one thing, he refused to vote for his party's nominee in 2016, instead writing in his wife's name. That's better than voting for Hillary, as George Will urged, but it does nothing to stop the malign Clinton machine from winning the White House.
And as ABC notes:
... in March 2016 ... he held a news conference laying out a plan for voters in various states to help block Trump from winning the party's nomination.
"Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud," Romney told an audience at the University of Utah at the time. In the speech, he suggested viewers play the delegate process against Trump, meaning, he said, that voters should cast their primary ballots for "whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state."
Perhaps the discipline of facing voters has gotten him to reconsider his disdain. The Trump-hating pundits like Jennifer Rubin, Max Boot, George Will, and Bill Kristol have no such anchor and live and breathe in a Beltway environment where NeverTrump flourishes as nowhere else in the country. They find MSNBC, the WaPo, CNN, and other leftist outlets welcoming them. The rest of the country's Republicans, not so much.
So, congratulations to Mitt Romney for recognizing that the limb he was out on was getting shaky.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.