Does Mitt Romney owe Donald Trump for supporting his 2012 bid? The presumptive nominee certainly sees it that way, and went on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday to accuse Romney of being “ungrateful” for the fund-raising Trump did on his behalf. Why, Trump got so many people to cough up cash that he ruined the carpet!
Donald Trump called Mitt Romney “ungrateful” for his support during the 2012 Republican primary. Trump said, “Every single robocall I made, he won that state. Every single speech I made, he won that state, in terms of the primaries.”
“I believe I won him, or helped him win five states that he was going to lose in the primaries,” Trump continued.
And that support came with personal cost to Trump.
“I raised a lot of money for him. I ruined the carpet in my apartments — I had so many people come. We actually had to have two fundraisers because there were so many people.”
It’s not clear from this which five states Trump feels Romney would have lost without him in the primaries. Perhaps Trump means the Acela Corridor states, which Romney won with similar percentages as Trump did a couple of weeks ago, but that was late in the cycle and Romney had wrapped up the nomination by that time. Trump cites Romney’s loss in Florida as part of that argument, but Romney cruised to an almost 15-point win in the 2012 Florida primary over Newt Gingrich, 46.4/31.9. Trump might have meant Florida in the general election, but Romney lost that in the I-4 Corridor more than in the Democratic bastion of south Florida. It seems unlikely, although possible, that Trump could have rustled up 74,000+ votes in his power centers of Palm Beach and Miami for Romney against Barack Obama.
Still, Trump may have a point. Let’s recall what happened four years ago. Romney and the GOP were so worried about a potential independent bid from Trump — or at least a public denunciation of the Republican ticket — that Romney went to Trump to publicly kiss the ring and keep Trump’s fans from bailing out. Trump obliged, and apparently even did some fundraising for Romney and Paul Ryan, who didn’t renounce Trump’s support at the time … even though Trump was attacking Obama with the birther nonsense during that cycle. Romney’s explanation at the time was that he doesn’t do repudiations; now, though, he seems perfectly comfortable with repudiations when he has nothing on the line. Given that, one can see Trump’s point, although that history also explains why neither Romney nor Ryan may want to have anything to do with Trump in this cycle, too.