Following the publication of Mitt Romney’s misguided op-ed piece in The Washington Post slamming President Donald Trump (the link to which can be found in the Library), a fundamental question immediately pops up: Can Mitt Romney defeat Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary?
To say the least, the publication of Romney’s op-ed represents a mammoth misstep. The words he shared about the President were not only openly hostile, but also demonstrated Romney’s misperception of what the American people want in a President.
For example, Romney wrote, “Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent.”
This was a terrible sentence. For one, it opened the door for the President to emphasize his disregard for his European approval numbers while astutely pointing out that any drop in his European popularity serves as a direct testament to his zealous representation of the United States in the world’s stage.
Engrained in Romney’s criticisms of Trump’s approval numbers was a more subtle, but much more substantive point. Romney demonstrated that he, as opposed to Trump, follows European approval as a measure of a President’s success.
This latter point brings us to our next issue: it is simply because Romney cares about European approval numbers and Trump does not that Mitt will make a terrible president.
There are many who wonder why Mitt Romney would make such a misguided and ill-advised move. Indeed, his actions defy all logical explanations, except one: the op-ed was Romney’s first salvo against the President of the United States whom he intends to take on for the Republican nomination. Yet his comments were so arrogant and so out of touch with the viewpoints of rank and file Republicans that he has absolutely no chance at touching Trump in a primary challenge. Indeed, Romney’s misstep was so colossal that he stands a much better chance of winning the Democratic nomination. (And not by way of complementing Romney, but he would immediately become the Democrat’s best candidate.)
All of this brings us to a much bigger point; the issue of character, which Romney has consistently played as his strong suit. During his run for President and again in his campaign for Senate, Romney eagerly sought Donald J. Trump’s blessings. Despite the misgivings that arose between the two during Trump’s 2016 race, the President still gave Romney his blessings. Yet, even before Romney has the opportunity to take the oath of his new office, he turns around and stabs the President in the back.
The point here is very simple and laced with irony. The fundamental and inescapable problem with Mitt Romney’s op-ed yesterday is that while he eagerly attacks the President’s character, he brings to full view the blatant flaws in his own.
And that’s the reason why Romney will never win another Republican nod for any office outside of his reelection in six years; provided, of course, that he stops messing up.