Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

Wyoming: stranger political climate than Texas?

CASPER, Wyo. — I love this state. It’s spacious, gorgeous and virtually uninhabited.

It’s the 10th-largest state in the union in terms of area; but it ranks No. 50 in terms of population, with about 580,000 residents scattered across 97,000 square miles.

It also has a single U.S. House of Representatives member representing it, along with two U.S. senators, Republicans John Barrasso and Mike Enzi.

And what about that member of Congress? She is Liz Cheney, who happens to be the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Here’s where the strangeness of Wyoming politics comes into play. Our friend Tom — a longtime journalist of some standing here — was showing us around Casper and he told me that Wyoming isn’t too keen on carpetbaggers, the politician who barely knows a region he or she wants to represent in government.

Why, then, did Wyoming elect Liz Cheney, who grew up in Washington, D.C., while her dad was serving in the Defense Department, Congress and as President Ford’s chief of staff before being elected VP in 2000?

Tom’s answer: “Because she has an ‘R’ next to her name and her dad happens to be the former vice president of the United States.”

I don’t have a particular problem with carpetbaggers. Indeed, my first political hero — the late Robert F. Kennedy — carried that title when he was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York in 1964. So did Hillary Rodham Clinton when she ran for RFK’s old seat in 2000 after serving eight years as first lady of the United States. Indeed, Mitt Romney — the former Massachusetts governor — is facing down the carpetbagger demon as he runs for the Senate in Utah.

I do find it cool, too, that a U.S. House member can represent the same constituency as two U.S. senators. Indeed, senators tend at times to lord it over House members that they represent entire states while their House colleagues have to settle for representing a measly House district.

Not so in Wyoming, where equality between the “upper” and “lower” congressional chambers is alive and well.

Yes, it was ‘disgraceful’

“Disgraceful and detrimental to our democratic principles.”

Yep, that about sums it up.

Donald Trump today disgraced himself and the presidency and the country he was elected to lead. He stood with Vladimir Putin and accepted the Russian president’s denial of meddling in our 2016 election. He also then denigrated the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that the Russians did, in fact, attack our electoral process.

The statement above comes from Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. He isn’t alone in criticizing the president. Indeed, one might be able to hear a growing drumbeat of recrimination coming from within the GOP against the party’s titular leader.

This isn’t how to “make America great again.” Nor is it in any way a strategy to “put America first.”

Wishing a Sen. Romney stays true

Mitt Romney doesn’t likely give a rip what a blogger in Texas thinks about his pending new role as a U.S. senator.

He should. He is going to be elected to the Senate from Utah, one of the nation’s most Republican of states. He wiped out his GOP primary foe Tuesday night and will campaign this fall for a seat in the Senate, where he will vote on laws that affect all Americans, including this blogger from Texas.

I have only a single wish for Sen.-to-be Romney. It is that he stays true to his belief that Donald John Trump is a “phony” and a “fraud.” And that he holds the president accountable for the lies he keeps blurting. And … that he makes sure that he won’t roll over for the president because of some fear of political retribution.

Mitt didn’t get my vote for president in 2012 when he ran against Barack H. Obama. That doesn’t mean I dishonor him. He had an uphill climb against an incumbent president and he lost the popular vote by roughly 5 million ballots and the Electoral College vote 332-206.

However, Romney was spot on in his critique of Trump during the 2016 election. He told the truth about the GOP nominee.

I know he’s a good party man. I also know that as a newly minted resident of Utah, he has to be sure to protect his new constituents’ interests. Nothing he says about the president should endanger any federal program that benefits Utahns.

But I do not want him to play dead in front of a president who — in my mind — is exactly how Mitt Romney has described him … as a “phony” and a “fraud.”

National debt? Hey, it’s still growing!

Donald Trump made a lot of promises when he ran for president of the United States.

Many of them were bold and audacious. One of them involved the national debt. He reaffirmed to the Washington Post in April 2017 that he would wipe it out over eight years, presuming he would be re-elected in 2020.

Let’s see. How’s he doing? Not too well. The national debt has, um, exploded in the first year and a half of his presidency. It has surged past the $21 trillion mark and is proceeding at a breakneck pace well beyond that total.

The Congressional Budget Office is reporting that the national debt, fueled by tax cuts and immense increases in government spending, is on a fast track into deep outer space.

According to CBS News: “At 78 percent of gross domestic product, federal debt held by the public is now at its highest level since shortly after World War II,” the CBO found. “If current laws generally remained unchanged, the Congressional Budget Office projects, growing budget deficits would boost that debt sharply over the next 30 years; it would approach 100 percent of GDP by the end of the next decade and 152 percent by 2048. That amount would be the highest in the nation’s history by far.” 

Republicans were so very quick to excoriate Democratic President Barack H. Obama over the national debt. The GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney sought to make the debt one of the centerpieces of his effort to defeat Obama. Then came Trump, the dealmaker in chief, the business tycoon and, oh yes, the self-proclaimed “King of Debt,” to tell us he would eliminate the national debt by the end of his presidency.

Well, at this rate, Mr. President, you have to get busy.

I mean, real busy.

Trump dictated his doc’s statement? No-o-o-o!

Someone will have to persuade me beyond a shadow of a doubt that Donald J. Trump didn’t do what his former physician says he did.

Dr. Harold Bornstein has said that the future president of the United States “dictated” a letter that went public over the doc’s name proclaiming that Trump would be the healthiest president in the history of the Republic.

“He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter,” Bornstein told CNN. “I just made it up as I went along.”

Let me refresh your memory.

Borstein examined the future president and released a letter that said Trump’s health was beyond belief. He would be the healthiest individual ever to serve as president.

According to The Hill: “His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary,” read the letter, which Bornstein had initially said he wrote himself. “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

Hmm. Shades of Trump allegedly dictating Don Jr.’s statement about that meeting with Russian operatives dealing with the “adoption of orphans.”

OK, this so-called dictation isn’t as dire as the Don Jr. matter, but it does demonstrate — if it proves to be true — a consistent pattern that the country has witnessed ever since Donald Trump entered the political arena.

Hey, how about the reports that Trump phoned a TV show pretending to be someone else touting the virtues of the hotel magnate-billionaire?

All of this stuff just seems to demonstrate what Mitt Romney said about Trump during the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump sure sounds like a “fraud” and a “phony” to me.

GOP pols hedge their support for Trump … so far

It’s rare for politicians of the same party as the president to withhold their support for a president who declares his intention to seek re-election.

That is what is happening within the Republican Party.

Mitt Romney, who wants to represent Utah in the U.S. Senate, says he cannot commit to supporting Donald Trump, who Romney once described as a “phony” and a “fraud.” Same for Sen. John Cornyn of Texas; ditto for Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; also ditto for lame-duck House Speaker Paul Ryan, also of Wisconsin.

Hey, what’s going on here?

Is the president,  um, toxic to Republicans? Are his GOP brethren afraid to get too close to the guy who is the titular head of their political party?

Hmm. Maybe they’re looking at recent history.

Trump backed a sitting U.S. senator from Alabama, Luther Strange, only to watch him lose that state’s GOP primary to Roy Moore, the guy accused by several women of sexual assault; Trump then threw his backing behind Moore, who ended up losing to Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones in the special election.

Trump then backed a Republican candidate for the U.S. House in Pennsylvania. Oops! Then the GOP candidate lost to the Democrat.

I’m thinking the Republicans might be taking stock of the president’s actual political clout, looking past the braggadocio that flies out of the president’s mouth.

Trump boasts about all the “winning” he has brought to government and to public policy. The way I look at it, he isn’t winning nearly as much as he would like us all to believe.

The act of “winning” in Trump’s world bears no resemblance to the reality the president is facing as he confronts what is looking more and more like a difficult ride through the 2018 midterm election.

That, of course, presumes the president is able to discern the politically obvious. Of that I am not at all certain.

‘Fickle’ describes Trump and Romney

Please don’t accuse me of being sexist, but ….

I always thought the term “fickle” was used to describe women. You know what I mean. Well, it appears two leading male political figures are rewriting the textbook definition of the word.

Donald Trump and Mitt Romney have said some really harsh things about each other.

Trump has called Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, a “loser” who once “begged” Trump for his endorsement. Trump said Romney would have “gotten on his knees” for the endorsement if the GOP candidate had told him to do so.

Romney, meanwhile, has called Trump a “fraud” and a “phony.” He has called the president a pathological liar.

Well, lo and behold! Romney is now running for the U.S. Senate from Utah; Sen. Orrin Hatch is retiring at the end of the year.

What do you suppose was the president’s reaction? He endorsed Romney, saying he will make a “great” U.S. senator.

And Romney? Why, he simply grabbed that endorsement, hugged it tight and thanked the president for the words of affirmation.

How long will this bromance last? Let’s assume Romney gets elected senator from Utah. I think it might endure right up until Romney delivers a harsh Senate floor speech denouncing a preposterous statement coming from Trump.

That, I suppose, presumes that a Sen. Romney hasn’t allowed himself to be emasculated by the GOP Senate leadership that tells him to keep his trap shut when he feels the urge to criticize the president.

Maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised that Trump and Mitt could bury the hatchet. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry once called Trump a “cancer on conservatism”; he’s now energy secretary in the Trump administration. And didn’t Housing Secretary Ben Carson call Trump a “liar” when they were running for the GOP nomination in 2016?

Still, time will tell us quite a bit about the fickle nature of the Trump-Romney political relationship.

Hoping for a ‘Sen. Romney’

I cannot believe I am about to write this blog post.

No kidding, I am excited about Mitt Romney’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate from Utah.

The 2012 Republican Party’s presidential nominee didn’t get my vote when he ran against President Barack H. Obama. That was then. Six years later, he now stands as a possible deterrent to another Republican, the current president of the United States, Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump.

Romney wants to succeed Orrin Hatch in the U.S. Senate. He has some Utah connection, although he will face the “carpetbagger” charge from those who might oppose his candidacy. Romney ran for the Senate in Massachusetts, losing in 1994 to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. He then was elected governor of the Bay State. Mitt has lived most recently in southern California.

But in 2002, he did step in to rescue the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Plus, he has strong ties to the Mormon Church — which is headquartered in Utah — and is arguably the nation’s most well-known Mormon.

A Sen. Romney would take office as a leading lawmaker. There will be no “getting acquainted” with this guy. He’s a known quantity, a national political figure of considerable renown.

He also has had his run-ins with Donald Trump. Romney famously called Trump a “fraud” and a “phony” during the  2016 presidential campaign. Thus, Romney potentially could serve as a check on the president’s sometimes-weird instincts.

Yes, I realize he auditioned for a secretary of state appointment in the Trump administration. I also know he likely groveled a bit to get the nod. I don’t hold it against him.

To be honest, I think I would like Mitt Romney if I ever got the chance to meet him. For starters, a Republican who would challenge Trump’s legitimacy as a serious politician is OK in my book.

Mitt Romney becomes the prohibitive favorite to succeed Sen. Hatch. I now will hope he can win this seat — and turn up the heat under the president.

Is this the work of a ‘fraud’?

I wasn’t looking for proof of a political accusation, but one has presented itself anyway.

In 2016, former Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney peeled the bark off the party’s primary frontrunner when he called Donald John Trump Sr. a “fraud” and a “phony.”

I thought at the time that the 2012 GOP nominee was talking exclusively about Trump’s penchant for bellicosity and insults. However, in the past few days, some things have come into sharper focus.

The president campaigned for office proclaiming his immense skill as a deal maker. He promised time and time again on the stump that he’d make the “best deals” in the history of humankind … or words to that effect. He vowed that the nation no longer would be snookered into falling for “bad deals.”

Well, here we are. One year into Trump’s time in office, the nation’s government is shut down. The president has been unable to deliver on one of those fundamental promises of his winning presidential campaign. He hasn’t cut any deal at all, let alone any bad deals.

I guess I can presume that’s what Mitt meant when he called Trump a “fraud.”

The late, great heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali used to say about his predictions about when he’d knock his foes out that “It ain’t braggin’ if you do it.”

Donald Trump needs to quit braggin’ if he can’t deliver the goods.

GOP turns wacky, man!

Just how crazy has the modern Republican Party become?

Get a load of this …

According to an essay in RealClearPolitics, Mitt Romney — the 2012 GOP nominee for president of the United States — is considered an “outlier” should he win election to the U.S. Senate later this year.

You might ask: Why is that?

The Republican Party has become the party of a man who not long ago wasn’t even considered a Republican. I refer to Donald J. Trump, the current president and a man who Mitt Romney has criticized with extreme prejudice.

Romney is considered the odds-on favorite to win the open U.S. Senate in Utah; Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, is bowing out at the end of the year. Romney hasn’t yet announced his candidacy, but virtually everyone thinks he will.

He also was considered to be the epitome of establishment GOP principle. Romney was considered a fiscal and social conservative, a pro-business sort of fellow. He campaigned for president in 2012 calling himself a “severe conservative.”

That might have been enough for doctrinaire Republicans to embrace him.

However, he has taken Donald Trump to task with, um, severe vigor.

In 2016, he called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud.” He delivered his anti-Trump mantra in a 17-minute speech that raised plenty of hackles among the Republican “base” that had endorsed Trump’s presidential candidacy.

And just recently, Romney labeled the president’s description of African nations, Haiti and El Salvador as “sh**hole countries” as “antithetical to American values.” The RealClearPolitics essay found that fascinating because “most of Trump’s Republican denouncers are either comfortably outside of Congress or on their way out.”

Romney, meanwhile, is likely on his way in, heading for a sure-fire electoral victory in the U.S. Senate contest in Utah.

All of this to my mind paints a picture of a major political party in a state of serious disarray. It has attached itself to an individual, rather than a set of principles.

Thus, I welcome Mitt Romney’s return to public life. My hope is that he continues to remind us that the president really and truly is a “phony” and a “fraud.”