Trump ally: Romney’s a self-serving egomaniac, you know
This might be the weirdest glass-house-meets-thrown-stones moment of the transition. For the last several days, surrogates and aides to Donald Trump have made it very clear that they don’t want the president-elect to appoint Mitt Romney as Secretary of State, but Rep. Chris Collins (R-MA) offers the most perplexing explanation yet as to why. He told CNN’s Chris Cuomo this morning on New Day that Romney can’t be trusted with the job because he’s “a self-serving egomaniac.”
Did that suddenly become a disqualification for office?
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a former GOP opponent of President-elect Donald Trump whose name has nonetheless been floated as a potential secretary of state, is “self-serving” and an “ego-maniac” according to New York Rep. Chris Collins.
“Well, I mean, what do I know about Mitt Romney? I know that he is a self-serving, ego-maniac who puts himself first, who has a chip on his shoulder, that thinks he should be president of the United States,” Collins said on CNN’s “New Day” Monday morning. “I mean, there’s no love lost between me and Mitt Romney. I’ve called him a loser for the last six months, even though I supported him.”
Ahem. Collins seems to forget that his initial description of Romney as “a self-serving, ego-maniac who puts himself first, who has a chip on his shoulder, that thinks he should be president of the United States” applied pretty well to his ally Trump, too. Perhaps Collins believes that we can’t have more than one of those at a time, and there may be a good argument for that, but suddenly discovering a principled objection to self-serving egomaniacs is a bit rich this late in the game.
Collins is on more solid ground here, however:
“My concern is that Mitt Romney is a bit of a lone wolf and might not take the advice or the direction of President-elect Trump. I mean, he is a lone wolf. So, from that perspective, would I choose him? No,” Collins said.
That’s a fair argument, and it’s clear from Romney’s consistent foreign-policy statements over the years that he and Trump don’t entirely line up, although they may not be as far apart as some would guess. Appointing Michael Flynn as national security advisor signals a tougher line on Russia than most expect at the moment, even if few have picked up on that yet. But the question Collins asks isn’t within his prerogative as a surrogate; that’s a question for a president-elect. Why is Collins so worried that Trump will pick someone who doesn’t take his direction? Doesn’t he trust Trump to make good decisions?
In fact, it seems like a lot of Trump’s camp have lost faith in the boss’ executive talents. Otherwise, why would they have spent so much time attacking Romney in order to spoil the potential appointment?
Top advisers to President-elect Donald Trump escalated their attacks on Mitt Romney on Sunday, catapulting their long-simmering frustrations on to TV news in an extraordinary public airing of grievances.
In a series of interviews on the Sunday political talk shows, Kellyanne Conway, a top Trump aide, argued firmly against tapping Romney for secretary of state, echoing internal skepticism among some in Trump’s inner circle.
It’s an anti-Romney Festivus! Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani also piled on, with the former calling Romney “phony and frankly pathetic.” It didn’t go unnoticed, either:
That’s certainly one interpretation. The other is that his staff and allies think Washington ain’t big enough for two self-serving egomaniacs. Wait’ll they meet the other 535.