Mitt Romney Self-Deports from Donald Trump
So it's come to this. In the wake of Donald Trump's description of Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers, remarks that have divided the GOP presidential field, the "severely conservative" former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney declared, "I think he made a severe error in saying what he did about Mexican-Americans." And for that, Bernie Quigley gushed in The Hill, Mitt Romney showed he is a "moral authority" for the Republican Party and the American people.
Hardly. Romney, after all, got mauled by President Obama among Hispanic voters by 71 to 27 percent. That disaster came in no small part because he urged the 11 million undocumented immigrants here to "self-deport" even as his wife Ann lectured Latinos to "get past their biases." And that supposed "moral authority" didn't merely slander 47 percent of the electorate and reverse his past pro-choice position he had attributed to the death of "dear, close family relative." When it mattered most during the 2012 GOP presidential primaries, Mitt Romney didn't chastise Birther-in-Chief Donald Trump. Instead, he accepted his endorsement.
That's right. In April 2012, Trump hosted a $1,000 a plate fundraising birthday party for Ann Romney. The next month, a grateful Mitt Romney formally accepted the Donald's endorsement, praising Trump's "an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works and to create jobs." That same May, the campaign held a "Dine with the Donald" fundraising contest in which the winner would join Romney and Trump for dinner at Trump Tower. And when pressed why he accepted the support of a man committed to perpetuating the fraud over President Obama's birth certificate, Romney stood firm:
"You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in. But I need to get 50.1 percent or more, and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."
As it turned out, the Birther crowd got a lot of help from the Romney clan.
In December 2011, Mitt's son Matt claimed his father wasn't being coy about his mystery tax returns. Instead, he joked, it was Barack Obama who had something to hide:
"He's certainly not afraid of anything, not hiding anything -- you know, I heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as President Obama releases his grades and birth certificate and sort of a long list of things, then maybe he'd do it."
While he later apologized on Twitter ("my bad"), there was no need for Matt to say sorry to dad. After all, in August 2012 Mitt Romney himself went Birther before an audience in Michigan:
"Now I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born," the GOP hopeful told the crowd. "Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital. I was born at Harper Hospital. No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate, they know that this is the place that we were born and raised."
That's right. Three and a half years after Barack Obama took the oath of office and more than a year after he released his long-form birth certificate, the GOP nominee was still casually trafficking in racist appeals to the Republicans' xenophobic right.
Romney's behavior conjures up a long list of epithets. "Opportunist" or "scoundrel" or "race-baiter" or even "whore" come to mind. One which doesn't is Bernie Quigley's:
We have come to appreciate Romney and grant him this moral authority because of how we have come to know him. As we see him, it would not occur to him or his wife and family to advance with treachery, duplicity or deception. Because they are inherently honest. Because they are inscrutably moral and have a distinct, historical, American work ethic.
The Romneys are all the things today so many of us used to be so long ago and it all seems to come so naturally to them; as if they were a holdout from our past -- or a vision of our future. And that is why we think of them in an emergency like FIFA; to fix the things that are broken -- that we broke -- in a world that is always breaking. Almost as a child would call on a parent.
Provided you want a parent to rig the system, not fix it. When it comes to Romney family values, the rot starts at the top with a man so ambitious and self-serving for whom pathological lying is a feature, not a bug. For him, you might say, winning will always Trump the truth. The best that can be said of Mitt Romney is that he is the Republican Party's amoral authority.