Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

Mitt takes up cudgel for a ‘free press’

U.S. Sen.-elect Mitt Romney is filling me with hope that he might become a Republican who actually is willing to challenge the nation’s demonizer in chief.

The media, according to Mitt, aren’t the “enemy of the people.” Even a “biased” media, the new senator from Utah writes in an op-ed for USA Today, are essential to the nation.

I agree with him. So do all of Donald J. Trump’s predecessors. So should most of the congressional Republicans who will take office in January along with their Democratic colleagues.

Sen.-elect Romney says categorically that Trump is wrong to vilify the media. He writes: America is indebted as a democratic nation to the free press for truths it has uncovered, for truth it has disseminated, and for falsehoods it has repudiated. The press uncovered the government’s lies about the war in Vietnam; it exposed Watergate; it opened our eyes to the sexual abuse of children by priests; and, most recently, it shed a light on the sexual assault by numerous men in power. The free press dispelled the false conspiracies about the 9/11 attacks, President Obama’s birth, and Joe McCarthy’s lurking communists. The work of a free press is essential.

The president doesn’t see it that way. He says the media that report on issues he deems critical are disseminating “fake news,” which of course is the ultimate irony given his own lying about so many issues, so many individuals. He has defamed seemingly countless public figures with lies.

But I’ll leave it to Mitt Romney and perhaps a few other brave souls in public life to try to hold the president accountable for his continuing attacks on the media.

Donald Trump could not be more wrong. Mitt Romney couldn’t be more correct.

Mitt is correct: Let the Mueller probe proceed ‘unimpeded’

I will admit it: I like U.S. Sen.-elect Mitt Romney much better now that he’s no longer running for president of the United States against Barack Obama.

The Utah Republican has said it is “imperative” that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation proceed “unimpeded” toward its conclusion. The message to Donald John Trump? Don’t fire Mueller; don’t order the acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, to do it; let the special counsel’s probe into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election conclude under its own power.

Whitaker is the acting AG, succeeding Jeff Sessions, who Trump fired on Wednesday. Sessions got the boot because he recused himself from “the Russia thing.” Trump wanted the AG to provide cover for him. Sessions refused, citing ethical concerns and the obvious conflict of interest, given that Sessions was a player in the Trump campaign and could not investigate himself.

Whitaker is a known partisan. He has criticized the Mueller probe, calling it a “witch hunt.” Not too prejudicial, eh?

Romney well might become a conscience of Republicans in the Senate. After all, during the 2016 GOP primary campaign for president, Romney delivered a scathing rebuke of Trump, who he called a “phony” and a “fraud.”

He was right then. He is correct now that he’s calling on the president to keep his hands off the Mueller probe.

 

Mitt was right: Trump is a first-class ‘fraud’

The next U.S. senator from Utah, Mitt Romney, was absolutely spot on when he delivered that blistering speech two years ago about Republican presidential nominee Donald John Trump Sr.

Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud” in a 17-minute tirade against the man who would become the 45th president of the United States.

I have just read that lengthy New York Times investigative article about how Trump acquired his wealth. It is quite clear, based on some of the most exhaustive reporting I’ve ever seen in a newspaper article, that Trump is the farthest thing possible from a “self-made” billionaire, which is how he presented himself while running for the presidency.

Read the NY Times piece here. Make sure you have a good bit of time to read this piece.

What will happen with this information? Will it change minds? Probably not.

I am an avid Trump critic. This report merely cements my own view of what I and many others have suspected all along about the president, and which comports with Mitt Romney’s view: that the man is a charlatan and a bald-faced liar.

Trump’s “base,” though, will see it differently. They’ll take aim at The New York Times, which they’ll contend is a “mainstream liberal media outlet” that is out to “get” Donald Trump. They will disbelieve the meticulous reporting by a team of journalistic professionals and choose to side with a man known to be a liar.

Such is the state of play on today’s political landscape.

I’ll just declare once again that Mitt Romney had it right in 2016. If only his fellow Republicans would have listened to him.

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.