Trump’s first wife, Ivana, immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia. His third wife, Melania, is a former model and jewelry designer from Slovenia.
Romney also knocked Trump for questioning his Mormon faith while campaigning in Utah ahead of Tuesday’s winner-take-all primary, which he lost to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“He could have just asked my wives,” Romney quipped.
The two men have been locked in a public feud for weeks, both online and off. Earlier in March, Romney gave a speech imploring Republican voters not to vote for Trump.
“Donald Trump is a phony. A fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University,” Romney said in his nationally televised address at the University of Utah. “He’s playing the American public for suckers.”
Trump fired back at the one-time GOP presidential nominee, saying Romney was “begging” for his endorsement during the 2012 election.
“I could’ve said, ‘Mitt drop to your knees’ and he would’ve dropped to his knees,” Trump told supporters at Maine rally. “He was begging. He was begging me.”
‘The only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful’
Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Friday he will vote for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in an effort to block GOP front-runner Donald Trump from the nomination.
Romney, who has become the highest-profile member of the GOP’s emerging “Never Trump” movement, wrote in a Facebookposting that the race for the Republican nomination has become a contest between “Trumpism and Republicanism,” and urged the residents of his now-home state, and states beyond, to follow him in voting for Cruz.
Utah’s caucuses, scheduled for Tuesday, award convention delegates proportionally unless a candidate earns greater than 50% of the vote. The non-Trump vote is favored in the state, but is currently split between Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is spending Friday campaigning in Utah. Romney’s statement is designed to shift as many Kasich votes as possible to Cruz to help him ensure Trump doesn’t secure more delegates on a day when he is likely to win 58 in the winner-take-all Arizona primary.
Neither Cruz nor Kasich have a mathematical chance of reaching the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination on the first ballot, and Romney explained that the name of the game is now keep-away, rather than shifting votes to a preferred candidate.
“The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention,” Romney wrote. “At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.”
Earlier this month, Romney delivered an unprecedented speech by a party’s former nominee saying he believed Trump’s candidacy to be a danger to the country and called on Republicans to vote for whomever was best-positioned to take delegates from Trump. He spared no words in his critique of Trump Friday. “Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence,” Romney wrote. “I am repulsed by each and every one of these.”
Romney, who campaigned in Ohio for Kasich on Monday, did not formally endorse Cruz, but encouraged all Republicans to vote for Cruz in hopes of forcing a contested convention. “A vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail,” he wrote.
“I will vote for Senator Cruz and I encourage others to do so as well, so that we can have an open convention and nominate a Republican,” he added.
Responding to a Jimmy Kimmel bit in which former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney read off his mean tweets, current GOP front runner Donald Trump told Fox & Friends that the late night segment was “demeaning.”
“I thought it was so terrible that Mitt Romney did that,” Trump said. “It was false. But I’ll tell you, he shouldn’t have done what he did last week, he shouldn’t have gone on that show.”
Trump told the Fox hosts that Romney “demeaned” himself with the display. “In what way did he demean himself?” asked Brian Kilmeade.
“I thought it didn’t look good,” Trump responded. “Let me put it this way, I don’t think I would have done that. I don’t think he should have been reading the tweets — those negative tweets. Why is he doing that?”
“I thought it was demeaning,” he said. “And nothing to do with me, I thought it was demeaning to him.”
Trump was accidentally disconnected, but the hosts brought him back at the top of the hour to play the video of Romney for him. “You thought it wasn’t funny, it was inappropriate?” Kilmeade asked.
“Well, he’s a wise guy,” Trump said. “He had a big failure, he has to admit that. He should be trying to unify the party not tear the party apart.”
The 2012 Republican nominee had harsh words for the presumptive 2016 nominee. Where does the GOP go from here?
Imagine this for a moment. Imagine if Bernie Sanders was the uncontested Democratic frontrunner. Now imagine if John Kerry, the last Democratic candidate for president to come up short on election day, delivered a major televised address in which he mercilessly vivisected Bernie’s perceived lack of qualifications, referring to the Vermont senator as “a phony, a fraud.” Next, imagine the proverbial nuclear detonation that Kerry’s remarks would’ve launched within the party — followed closely by cable news pronouncements of “the Democrats in disarray.” Imagine what Bernie’s loyalists would do to Kerry and the broader party establishment. Imagine the size of the proverbial mushroom cloud and the radioactive decay in the aftermath.
This is what Mitt Romney has done regarding Donald Trump [Thursday].
Of course I hasten to underline that there are vast chasmic differences between Bernie and Trump, differences too numerous to list. But on a political level, it would absolutely signify a major event, portending what could be the first major 21st century shift in the makeup of our two-party system.
There’s literally no predicting what happens next following Romney’s Thursday address on Trump. The former Massachusetts governor nailed Trump on every weakness and every flaw in the frontrunner’s long list of wacky, cartoonish drawbacks. Some highlights from Romney’s speech:
“His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”
“His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.”
“If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into a prolonged recession.”
“And what ever happened to Trump Airlines? How about Trump University? And then there’s Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks, and Trump Mortgage? A business genius he is not.”
“Donald Trump tells us that he is very, very smart. I’m afraid that when it comes to foreign policy he is very, very not smart.”
“There is dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War while John McCain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.”
“Now imagine your children and your grandchildren acting the way he does. Will you welcome that? Haven’t we seen before what happens when people in prominent positions fail the basic responsibility of honorable conduct? We have, and it always injures our families and our country.”
Rommey’s most revealing and salient line described the status of the GOP presidential campaign: “But the rules of political history have pretty much all been shredded during this campaign.”
The truth is obvious to those of us who’ve been charting the disintegration of the GOP. The Republican Party has been slowly shredding the rules of discourse for the better part of 20 years now, beginning with the impeachment of Bill Clinton, then with the ascendancy of an intellectually lazy George W. Bush backed by the marketing and monetization of far-right ideology by the conservative entertainment complex, followed by the nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president and joined by the inchoate, rage-filled carpet bombing of the Obama presidency and, now, the undeniable frontrunner status of, to quote Graydon Carter, a short-fingered vulgarian named Donald Trump.
Nowhere in Romney’s speech nor within the lamentations of other party fathers has there been a hint of personal responsibility for what the GOP has done to itself and to the discourse in order to arrive at this terrifying crossroads in American political history. Remember, Romney stood on the shoulders of Trump’s endorsement in 2012. Romney engaged in Southern Strategy dog-whistle campaigning last time as well, suggesting that “Obama isn’t working,” and that his ideas were “foreign.” But today, Romney seems like a stable voice of reason in a GOP ocean of nincompoopery and incompetence. But to Trump and his supporters, he’s nothing but a loser and a feckless bad cop sent from Reince Priebus’ war room.
The engine of popular rage fomented by Palin in 2008, exploited by Romney in 2012 and repeated around the clock on Fox News and AM talk radio, has propelled most GOP voters into the frigid, knowing embrace of Donald Trump today — not in protest of the GOP’s recent history of political demagoguery, but because of it. The rise of Trump isn’t a backlash to Republican establishment politics; it’s the natural extension of it. Even the filibuster-happy theatrics of Trump’s presidential opponents, specifically Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, helped provide Republican voters a syllabus of reasons to enlist in Trump’s army of brainwashed middle-aged white people.
In an 11 a.m. call on Friday with senior donors, Mitt Romney announced that despite heavy speculation that he would step into the 2016 race for president, he will not consider a bid after all. “I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” he said. The announcement prompted several top GOP donors to throw their support behind Jeb Bush instead.
African Union leaders agreed during a two-day summit in Ethiopia to send 7,500 troops to help push back the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. Boko Haram militants have killed thousands in the five years that they have expanded their reach through northeast Nigeria; and, insurgents have increased the frequency of their attacks in the leadup to Nigeria’sFeb. 14 elections.
Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced that the measles outbreak that started in California’s Disneyland likely came from overseas, probably brought either by a foreign tourist or an American returning home. So far, 94 people in eight states have become infected with the measles, and 67 of those cases are linked to Disneyland. The outbreak is “a wake-up call to make sure we keep measles from regaining a foothold in our country,” Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC said, adding that the outbreak is occurring because some people aren’t vaccinated against the disease.
South African apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, also known as “Prime Evil,” was granted parole on Friday. The ex-cop will be released from prison after serving more than 20 years for the torture and murder of black South African activists in the 1980s and early 1990s. South Africa justice minister Michael Masutha said in a news conference that de Kock was released “in the interests of nation-building and reconciliation.” He added that de Kock has expressed remorse and helped authorities recover the remains of some of his victims.
U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate in 2014’s fourth quarter, a sharp decline from the third quarter, when the U.S. economy posted its strongest growth in more than a decade with a 5 percent GDP reading. Economists had estimated that America’s economy grew by 3 percent during the last three months of 2014. “The consumer did the heavy lifting, and I don’t think there is any reason to expect that to change in the first half of this year, because of the enormous tailwind from lower gasoline prices,” Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, said.
Notching her sixth Australian Open victory and 19th Grand Slam title, Serena Williams powered through a nagging cough to defeat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (5) on Saturday. The top-ranked tennis star’s victory makes her the oldest winner of the Australian Open women’s title, at 33 years old. The win also moves Williams into second place for most major wins; she is now just three major titles away from tying Steffi Graf’s Open Era record of 22.
A new poll from The New York Times found that a majority of Americans, including almost half of Republicans, support government action to stop climate change. Seventy-seven percent of Americans said the federal government “should be doing a substantial amount to combat climate change.” The poll, conducted in conjunction with Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future, surveyed 1,006 adults and found that two-thirds of the respondents said they were more likely to vote for presidential candidates whose campaign platforms included fighting climate change.
Weeks after hiking interest rates to an 11-year high, Russia unexpectedly cut them again on Friday. The central bank lowered the benchmark rate from 17 percent to 15 percent, which spiked ruble sales, driving it down 4 percent against the dollar. In 2014, the central bank raised the rate six times, and officials and business leaders had warned that the economy would crash unless the rates came down. Earlier in January, an aide to President Vladimir Putin called doing business “impossible” at the current interest rate.
Prosecutors announced on Friday that they won’t file a formal charge in an assault case against George Zimmerman because his ex-girlfriend, Brittany Brunelle, recanted her story. Florida State Attorney Phil Archer said there were no other eyewitnesses to the alleged event, in which Brunelle originally stated that Zimmerman threw a wine bottle at her and destroyed her cellphone. Zimmerman was arrested three weeks ago, but three days after his arrest, Brunelle asked in a statement that prosecutors not file charges, adding that she was “under no pressure and had been offered no money” to make the statement.
Jay Z has purchased Scandinavian music streaming service Aspiro for $56 million. Project Panther Bidco Ltd., a company Jay Z controls, announcedon Friday that it was purchasing Aspiro, “an innovative, high-quality company with strong future growth potential.” The Norwegian media group Schibsted, Aspiro’s main shareholder, said it had accepted the offer, and Aspiro’s board is “united in recommending the bid.”
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, told a group of supporters on Friday that he would not seek his party’s nomination for president in 2016.
Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, shared his decision on a conference call with a small group of advisers.
In a second call to a larger group of supporters, Mr. Romney said, “After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”
Mr. Romney said he believed he could win the nomination, but he expressed concern about harming the party’s chances to retake the White House. “I did not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming the president,” he said.
He added that it was “unlikely” that he would change his mind.
Mr. Romney, who did not take questions and ended the call shortly after reading a prepared statement, said that his family had been gratified by the outpouring of support, but had decided that it was best for the Republican Party to step aside. Mr. Romney said he would have no leadership PAC and no exploratory committee.
By not pursuing a third White House bid, Mr. Romney frees up scores of donors and operatives who had been awaiting his decision, and creates space for other potential center-right candidates such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Mr. Romney, 67, had expressed renewed interest in another presidential run to a group of donors earlier this month, roiling the nascent Republican race. Many of his loyal contributors, staff members and supporters had been reluctant to come out for one of his potential rivals until they knew Mr. Romney’s plans.
In a more than four-hour meeting last week, Mr. Romney’s top staff members and trusted advisers from 2012 relayed a sobering reality — they supported Mr. Romney and thought he would be the best president, but they did not necessarily encourage a third run.
One by one, loyal supporters talked about surveying their troops from 2012, and finding that the enthusiasm and support were just not there. Some Iowa precinct leaders were not coming back, and even in New Hampshire — where Mr. Romney had won the primary — the mood was described at best as “cautiously optimistic.” The situation with donors was also going to be an uphill climb.
Word of Mr. Romney’s decision sent waves through the Republican donor world early Friday, as Romney aides began to telegraph the news to donors and other staff members and strategists. Some donors immediately began calling representatives of other potential candidates, such as Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, to discuss offering their support.
Mr. Romney’s announcement started a day of reckoning with his would-be rivals. He is scheduled to have dinner with Mr. Christie on Friday evening, according to two people with knowledge of his schedule, suggesting that Mr. Romney may be considering throwing his support, and that of his own political operation, to Mr. Christie. The two men are friendly, and Mr. Christie, along with Mr. Bush, was a main rival of Mr. Romney for the favor of the Republican establishment.
Mr. Bush offered his own warm words for Mr. Romney in a post on Facebook on Friday morning.
Mitt is a patriot and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over,” Mr. Bush wrote. “I look forward to working with him.”
At 11 on Thursday night, a blast email was sent from a mittromney.com address, alerting supporters about a conference call on Friday morning.
“Please join me for an update call tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. EST, 8:00 a.m. PST,” wrote Mr. Romney, adding the dial-in information and concluding, “All the best, Mitt.”
In an appearance at Mississippi State University on Wednesday, Mr. Romney sounded themes that could have shaped another campaign. But he also lamented the nature of the political process and offered a dose of barely veiled self-criticism, discussing some of the shortcomings of his 2012 campaign and the lessons he learned from his loss to President Obama.
Mr. Romney’s decision will almost certainly bring an end to his decade-long quest to become president. He lost in the Republican primary in 2008 before becoming his party’s standard-bearer four years later.
Friday’s conference call seemed bittersweet for the Romney family. At one point, Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, came on the line and thanked the former aides for their steadfast support.
But luck was clearly not with Mr. Romney this time, even as he shared the news with his former staff members on his morning call. Mr. Romney’s voice fell off the line as the connection was suddenly dropped.
President Obama is calling for a 7 percent increase in military and domestic spending in his new budget proposal, the White House said Thursday. The spending plan, to be unveiled Monday, calls for ending four-year-old congressionally mandated spending caps known as “sequestration” now that budget deficits have returned to pre-Great-Recession levels. Republicans criticized the plan, saying its mix of new taxes and an end to automatic spending cuts would do nothing to solve long-term budget problems.
Mitt Romney (R) will announce his plans for the 2016 elections on Friday morning, according to multiple reports. Supporters of Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign received an email Thursday inviting them to join a call with Romney on Friday morning for “an update.” Sources have confirmed to Bloomberg that Romney is ready to announce a decision about a potential presidential bid in 2016.
The GOP-led Senate on Thursday passed a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but Republicans were just short of the votes needed to override President Obama’s threatened veto. The bill must now be reconciled with a similar one passed by the House. Supporters say the project will create jobs; opponents say it’s not worth the environmental risk. Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated Obama’s plan to veto the bill. The pipeline would carry oil from Canadian tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries.
Militants simultaneously hit more than a dozen army and police targets in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, killing at least 25 soldiers and one policeman and wounding more than 60. Egyptian health officials raised the death toll to 32 on Friday. At least one car bomb and numerous mortar shells destroyed buildings at a military base, burying soldiers with debris. An army spokesman blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, but before the attack the Islamic State affiliate in Egypt tweeted a photo of militants carrying rocket-propelled grenades.
Google reported a 15 percent increase in revenue over the last quarter, falling shy of expectations. The average price for Google’s online ads fell by 3 percent, although some analysts had been hoping to see those prices rise. Google’s stock dipped on the news but rallied to close up by 0.1 percent, at $510.66 per share. Google has been battling to keep its advertising revenue strong as users of its online services shift to mobile devices, where ads sell for less.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain booted several protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink from a budget hearing after they approached a witness table and called former secretary of State Henry Kissinger a war criminal. “Get out of here, you low-life scum,” McCain told the protesters. Kissinger, who served under in the Nixon administration during the Vietnam war, was testifying along with his counterparts from the Clinton and Reagan administrations, Madeleine Albright and George P. Shultz.
Dartmouth College on Thursday announced broad changes to cut down on dangerous behavior on campus, including bans on alcohol and pledging at fraternities and sororities. Students also will have to participate in a program aimed at preventing sexual violence. Dartmouth developed the plan, called Moving Dartmouth Forward, based on recommendations from a committee formed last spring. The initiative came after a former fraternity wrote an expose two years ago describing hazing and drinking at the Ivy League school.
Jordan let the Islamic State’s deadline for a prisoner exchange pass on Thursday, demanding proof that a captured Jordanian fighter pilot was alive before it would release imprisoned failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi. ISIS had said it would kill the pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, and Japanese hostage Kenji Goto unless Jordan delivered al-Rishawi to the Syrian-Turkish border by sundown Thursday. “Rishawi is still in Jordan,” a government spokesman said, “and the exchange will happen once we receive the proof of life we ask for.”
Texas executed convicted murderer Robert Ladd on Thursday despite defense attorney’s claims that he shouldn’t be put to death because he was mentally disabled. “Anywhere else in the country, Mr. Ladd’s IQ of 67 would have meant a life sentence, not death,” defense attorney Brian Stull said this week. Ladd was convicted for beating Vicki Ann Garner, 38, to death with a hammer and then setting her body on fire. At the time, he was on parole for a 1980 stabbing and arson that killed three people.
WASHINGTON — Thought the 2012 presidential campaign was over? Think again.
President Barack Obama didn’t have much to say about Mitt Romney’s rekindled aspirations for the White House when he delivered a flat, “No comment,” earlier this month. But apparently he couldn’t resist much longer, following reports that the former GOP candidate was weighing entering the ring in 2016 on a platform focused on lifting up the middle class and eliminating poverty.
Addressing House Democrats at their annual retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday night, Obama referred to one “former presidential candidate” who was “suddenly deeply concerned about poverty.”
“That’s great. Lets do something about it,” Obama said, according to a White House pool report.
Romney fired back on Twitter, by noting poverty levels under the Obama administration.
“Mr. Obama, wonder why my concern about poverty? The record number of poor in your term, and your record of failure to remedy,” Romney said.
Obama also said in Philadelphia that he had heard a Republican senator, who he did not name, was “suddenly shocked, shocked, that the 1 percent” was doing much better than the vast majority of Americans.
“I consider imitation the highest form of flattery,” Obama said of Republicans’ sudden embrace of populist rhetoric.
Three Republican senators considering bids for president — Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida — spoke about the need to address income inequality at a summit organized by the Koch Brothers on Sunday.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will attack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the economy and foreign policy during a speech at Mississippi State University on Wednesday night.
According to speech excerpts obtained by NBC, Romney, who has indicated if he decides to run for president again one of the pillars of his campaign would be inequality, will ask “How can Secretary Clinton provide opportunity for all if she doesn’t know where jobs come from in the first place?”
“Short term, our economy is looking up,” Romney plans to say. “But it is a lot better for the few, and pretty darn discouraging for the many. Incomes haven’t gone up in decades.”
Romney’s last presidential campaign in 2008 suffered from repeated attacks related to Romney’s wealth and background as a CEO. One of the lowest points in his campaign came after he said that the 47 percent of the country who depend on government would not vote for him. The moment was caught on video, and circulated widely.
Romney targets Hillary Clinton as he considers presidential bid
Those attacks build on comments his team made earlier Wednesday. As Romney heads to the nation’s poorest state, his political team is fighting back against perceptions that his wealth could be a political liability if he runs for president again, arguing that Clinton is no model for modest living, either.
“It’s going to be hard for Hillary Clinton to make Mitt Romney’s wealth a fruitful line of attack, with her multi-million dollar mansions in Georgetown and Chappaqua and her jet-setting lifestyle of the rich and famous,” a Romney aide said Wednesday.
Going into 2016, Mitt is “determined to re-brand himself as authentic” — which is indeed the very essence of Mitt
If you’re looking for the very stuff of Willard Mitt “Mitt” Romney, the pure essence that lies at the center of his political soul, it can be found in the fourth paragraph of Tuesday’sWashington Post story on the embryonic stages of Mitt’s 2016 presidential campaign (emphasis added):
If he runs again in 2016, Romney is determined to re-brand himself as authentic, warts and all, and central to that mission is making public what for so long he kept private. He rarely discussed his religious beliefs and practices in his failed 2008 and 2012 races, often confronting suspicion and bigotry with silence as his political consultants urged him to play down his Mormonism.
This is Mitt Romney’s burden – a never-ending struggle to convince the country that he’s a normal fellow who does normal fellow things. If only America knew the “real” Mitt Romney, if only they could just see Mitt being Mitt, well, by gosh and by golly, they’d make him president tomorrow! Apparently an important part of the strategy he’s settled on, per the Post, is to talk about being a Mormon, recite Scripture, and “crack jokes about Joseph Smith’s polygamy.” Then he’ll emerge from his custom-built “manse complete with a ‘secret door’ hideaway room and an outdoor spa off the master bath” to give a speech or two on poverty, which will be “a central theme of his next campaign.”
The problem for Romney is that he’s tried this “I’m authentic! Really!” routine so many times before, and it has obviously never worked. He foundered in the 2008 primaries against John McCain and Mike Huckabee because they came off as more genuine in their policy positions and more comfortable in their ideological skins than Romney, who desperately wanted Republican voters to believe that he was a true conservative and a real person. And so going into 2012, Romney and his advisers were committed to show the political world that Mitt was a conservative Average Joe.
They sent Mitt to NASCAR events, where he forged his link with the common man by talking about his wealthy friends who own NASCAR teams. They sent him down to the South, where we sampled the local cuisine and took a stab at speaking the regional dialect: “I’m learning to say ‘y’all’ and I like grits. Strange things are happening to me.” These are the ways Mitt Romney tries to connect with people. He’s not offensive and he’s not completely robotic – he just has no idea what people expect of him.
The Romney awkwardness finally came to a head in early October 2012. Behind in all the polls and not gaining traction on any issue, Mitt’s people fed to Politico the story of how Romney’s family usurped the campaign strategists and “pushed for a new message, putting an emphasis on a softer and more moderate image for the GOP nominee — a ‘let Mitt be Mitt’ approach they believed more accurately reflected the looser, generous and more approachable man they knew.” At the time the story ran, Romney was bouncing back in the polls owing to his stronger-than-expected performance in the first debate against Obama, and Team Romney was eager to paint the turnaround as a consequence of The Authentic Romney finally emerging. “When the history of this campaign is written, the family intervention will be among the most important turning points in the Romney saga,” Politico reported at the time.
Of course, Mitt spent the entire month of October “being Mitt” and still lost handily – turns out you can’t erase multiple years of poor campaigning and quell voters’ long-standing suspicions with a few weeks of not-totally-incompetent messaging.
And now, after letting himself be himself and failing, Romney wants to rebrand as a still more authentic version of himself. There is no known limit to the depths of Romney’s authenticity. And that, again, gets to Romney’s problem of never knowing what people expect of him. He keeps promising us over and over that we still haven’t seen the “real” Mitt Romney. He probably thinks that’s what people want to hear, and doesn’t quite get that he’s just confirming to anyone who still cares that every Mitt Romney we’ve seen up to now has been fake.