So Mitt Romney has joined what some would argue is an establishment attack against Donald Trump. Whatever you think of Trump, it is truly fascinating to watch an obviously coordinated attack against one individual coming from establishment operatives on both the Right and the Left. There are many takeaways, but the most obvious is that “news” is meant to influence behavior and is therefore inherently biased.
Setting aside all of that, one can’t help but relish the hypocrisy of the attacks as well. It’s doubtful they will sway the angry Americans supporting Trump because they really do reveal how the leadership of the country will say almost anything and do almost anything to stay in power – or keep others from power. And while Donald Trump may seem to be attacking them for it to the cheers of his fans, opponents point out fairly the times he seems to have changed positions or said things for the moment as well.
But in this battle royale, Romney took the first shot so it’s only fair to examine what he said in 2012 about Trump and what he’s saying now. Let’s look at his most recent speech given on March 3, 2016. Politico has kindly provided the whole transcript here. Below are a few juicy excerpts:
“Let me put it plainly, if we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.
Let me explain why.
First, the economy: If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into a prolonged recession.
But wait, you say, isn’t he a huge business success that knows what he’s talking about? No he isn’t. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it. And what ever happened to Trump Airlines? How about Trump University? And then there’s Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks, and Trump Mortgage? A business genius he is not.
Now not every policy Donald Trump has floated is bad.
Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics. We have long referred to him as ‘The Donald.’ He is the only person in America to whom we have added an article before his name. It wasn’t because he had attributes we admired.
Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”
Scathing, right? Now compare Mitt Romney on Donald Trump in 2012 after Romney was endorsed by him:
“Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people. He’s done it here in Nevada, he’s done it across the country. He understands that our economy is facing threats from abroad. He’s one of the few people who stood up and said China has been cheating. They’ve taken jobs from Americans. They haven’t played fair. We have to have a president who stands up to cheaters. We believe in free trade and free enterprise but we don’t believe in allowing people to cheat day in and day out … I spent my life in the private sector, not quite as successful as this guy … Thank you to Donald Trump for his endorsement.”
So which statement is true? Beats me.
And Washington, D.C. wonders why the American people on both sides of the aisle are tired of the games?