Former personal aide to Mitt Romney: Trump kissed his ass and told him to use Birtherism to excite "right-wing crazies"

This got lost in the shuffle last night amid all the debate chatter but the media needs to pursue it. Whether true or false, there’s a story here. If what Garrett Jackson says is true, hoo boy. If what he’s saying is false, that would make this the second time in two weeks that Team Mitt has tried to smear Trump with allegations they can’t substantiate. The first time, of course, was Romney claiming there’s “good reason” to think there’s a bombshell lurking somewhere in Trump’s tax returns.

Note that Jackson claims he may have audio of things Trump said privately. Oh?

“Right-wing crazies” sounds like dialogue written by a conservative for a cartoonishly villainous fictional character, although Trump often comes off as a cartoonishly villainous fictional character so who knows. One obvious problem, though: If Team Mitt had audio tucked away somewhere all this time of Trump disparaging right-wingers back in 2012, why wouldn’t it have leaked already? Trump can spin any conservative heresy, even on immigration, but if you showed his voters that he secretly held them in contempt, it’d be disastrous for him, a Lonesome Rhodes moment. The man could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose a single vote, but disparaging Birthers — in front of Mr. Establishment? Death blow. Romney wouldn’t hold that back if he had it. If Jackson’s serious about this, he should sit down with a reporter and make the charge.

Here’s Romney fielding a question from CNN today that he didn’t touch on yesterday — namely, why is he suddenly so offended by Trump now when Trump was pushing Birtherism even before Romney accepted his endorsement in 2012? Skip to 4:45 for the key bit. Gonna be weird two weeks from now when Rubio gets blown up in Florida and Mr. Establishment has no choice but to back Mr. Tea Party, Ted Cruz, as the last best hope of #NeverTrump-kind.

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David Strom 9:21 PM on February 02, 2023