This surprising turn of events comes from none other than Mitt Romney, who has been known for his principled stance against Donald Trump. Despite being one of the few Republicans who voted to remove Trump from office, Romney’s recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal has left many baffled.
In the editorial, Romney discusses the upcoming 2024 election but conspicuously avoids addressing the fact that the GOP frontrunner is currently facing two indictments and potentially more. Moreover, this candidate has a history of being convicted of rape, which has even been recorded in the Congressional Record.
Many find it astonishing that Romney, who clearly recognizes Trump’s embarrassing and problematic behavior, has chosen to turn a blind eye and endorse another Trump term. Instead of urging the party to take action against the controversial candidate, Romney seems resigned to accept the GOP’s fate.
DESPITE DONALD TRUMP’S APPARENT INEVITABILITY, A BAKER’S DOZEN REPUBLICANS ARE HOPING TO BECOME THE PARTY’S 2024 NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT. THAT IS POSSIBLE FOR ANY OF THEM IF THE FIELD NARROWS TO A TWO-PERSON RACE BEFORE MR. TRUMP HAS THE NOMINATION SEWN UP. FOR THAT TO HAPPEN, REPUBLICAN MEGADONORS AND INFLUENCERS—LARGE AND SMALL—ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOMETHING THEY DIDN’T DO IN 2016: GET CANDIDATES THEY SUPPORT TO AGREE TO WITHDRAW IF AND WHEN THEIR PATHS TO THE NOMINATION ARE EFFECTIVELY CLOSED. THAT DECISION DAY SHOULD BE NO LATER THAN, SAY, FEB. 26, THE MONDAY FOLLOWING THE CONTESTS IN IOWA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEVADA AND SOUTH CAROLINA.
THERE ARE INCENTIVES FOR NO-HOPE CANDIDATES TO OVERSTAY THEIR PROSPECTS. COMING IN BEHIND FIRST PLACE MAY GREASE ANOTHER RUN IN FOUR YEARS OR HAVE MARKET VALUE OF ITS OWN: MIKE HUCKABEE AND RICK SANTORUM GOT PAYING GIGS. AND AS FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE GOV. JOHN H. SUNUNU HAS OBSERVED, “IT IS FUN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IF YOU KNOW YOU CANNOT WIN.” […]
CANDIDATES THEMSELVES USED TO CONSOLIDATE THE FIELD TO ACHIEVE WHAT THEY SAW AS A GREATER PURPOSE. IN 1968, POTENTIAL CANDIDATES WILLIAM SCRANTON, CHARLES H. PERCY, MARK HATFIELD, JOHN CHAFEE, AND NELSON ROCKEFELLER RALLIED AROUND MY FATHER, GEORGE W. ROMNEY, INSTEAD OF SEEKING NOMINATION THEMSELVES, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED HE HAD THE BEST SHOT OF STOPPING RICHARD NIXON. WHEN MY DAD’S CAMPAIGN FALTERED, HE AND THEY SWUNG TO ROCKEFELLER TO CARRY THEIR CAUSE FORWARD. THEY WERE UNSUCCESSFUL BUT NOT BECAUSE OF BLIND POLITICAL AMBITION OR VANITY. THEY PUT A COMMON CAUSE ABOVE PERSONAL INCENTIVES.
In the past, Romney praised the GOP for putting a common cause above personal incentives. However, this unity appears to be lost when it comes to dealing with Trump. The focus seems to be on catering to the interests of wealthy donors rather than addressing the concerns and needs of the people.
Despite Romney’s critique of Trump, he seems to be addressing his message to the moneyed elite within the party, perpetuating the notion that Republican politics revolves around financial interests, while Democratic politics are centered on people-oriented policies.
The editorial also highlights the lack of viable candidates within the Republican party, leaving them with no choice but to consider Trump, despite his legal baggage and controversial past. This has led to frustration and disappointment among some members who feel the party has lost its moral compass.
DONORS MAY THINK THAT PARTY LEADERS CAN NARROW THE FIELD. NOT SO. CANDIDATES DON’T LISTEN TO PARTY OFFICIALS, BECAUSE VOTERS DON’T LISTEN TO THEM EITHER. AND THE LAST PEOPLE WHO WOULD EVER ENCOURAGE A CANDIDATE TO WITHDRAW ARE THE CAMPAIGN STAFF AND CONSULTANTS WHO WANT TO KEEP THEIR JOBS FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. THEY BUCK UP CANDIDATES, PROMOTING LONG-SHOT PROSPECTS AND FAVORABLY BIASED INTERNAL POLLS. I CAN ALMOST HEAR THE WORDS FROM “DUMB AND DUMBER”—“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE?” OUR PARTY AND OUR COUNTRY NEED A NOMINEE WITH CHARACTER, DRIVEN BY SOMETHING GREATER THAN REVENGE AND EGO, PREFERABLY FROM THE NEXT GENERATION.
FAMILY, FRIENDS AND CAMPAIGN DONORS ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN GET A LOST-CAUSE CANDIDATE TO EXIT THE RACE. AFTER FEB. 26, THEY SHOULD START DOING JUST THAT.
Romney’s own actions and waffling over the years have contributed to the degeneration of the party, paving the way for Trump’s rise to power. Many believe that the party has strayed from its core values, and some prominent figures have already distanced themselves from the current state of the GOP.
In the face of the evident denial within the party, this editorial reinforces the notion that the Republican party is struggling to address its internal challenges and embrace a clear direction for the future. As the country grapples with the state of politics, it becomes increasingly crucial for the party to confront its shortcomings and make decisions that reflect the interests and values of its constituents.