It is simply unbelievable that Romney did not say something to draw the sting of the breathtakingly contradictory portrayal of Trump he offered just a short time ago. Stephen maintains that Romney’s speech today was a well-conceived attack on Trump’s “brand” – a shredding of Trump’s business savvy as only Romney could do it because Romney “is a successful businessman from the world of Trump.” Yeah, except what everyone is now watching, and will doubtless be shocked by, is Romney declaring that Trump is a more successful businessman than Romney, that Trump is one of the world’s greatest job creators and most astute analysts of economic trends.
And the thrust of gentleman Mitt’s very un-Romney-like scorching of the earth today was that Trump is “a phony, a fraud.” If that’s the point you want to make, you’d better not come off like, well, a phony, a fraud.
This performance is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. I know it rubbed me the wrong way. Not because I found much with which to disagree; because my first reaction on hearing Romney (i.e., before I was reminded of the gushing tribute to Trump) today was: Where was this Mitt in the third debate against Obama? That night, Romney bent over so far backwards to agree with the foreign policy of Obama (whose foreign policy is probably the worst in American history) that dismayed Republican supporters feared he might just go ahead and endorse the president.
My main takeaway from Romney’s speech today is that Republican leaders simply do not grasp the dynamic of the schism within the party. It is obviously important to make the case that Trump is a con-man and a cretin. No, it will not change the minds of Trump’s most ardent supporters, but they are not the target audience. The target is the majority of voters who could either rationalize swinging to Trump or be persuaded that he’d be a disaster. We should all get why it is crucial to make the anti-Trump case to them.