The past week in American politics has included a tumultuous set of events. Jabs about private parts, comments on sexual innuendos, and the usage of harsh words like “choker,” “phony,” and “suckers” has heightened the no mercy, no regard for human life, intra-party civil war between the current GOP front runner and the former GOP front runner over the past week. Donald Trump said that he “doesn’t have a problem” regarding his manhood and that Mitt Romney would go to his knees four years ago just for Trump’s endorsement, comments which have further fractured the Republican Party. Less angered, more moderate, and centered conservatives are backing Romney’s words, whereas furious, more right-winged conservatives are backing “the Donald.”
The fire was unleashed this past Thursday morning, when Mitt Romney held a press conference at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Romney came out swinging Thursday morning harder than Clubber Lang in his first bout vs. Rocky Balboa in the cinematic masterpiece Rocky III. He described Donald Trump as a “phony,” who is cheating the American people. The animosity that was contained in his voice could easily be felt through the TV screen. He described Trump’s economic policies as “flimsy,” chucking throwing stars at Trump’s prized possession, his business record. When discussing non-domestic affairs Romney said, “Donald Trump tells us he is very very smart. I’m afraid that when it comes to foreign policy, he is very, very not smart.” Romney went right for Trump’s jugular with this speech. He didn’t stop with this speech. Romney went on to appear on Fox, CNN, ABC, and The Today Show, and on each of these he decried Donald Trump and his policies.
What is ironic about this situation is that, during the last election cycle, Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney. He said of the then presumptive GOP nominee in February of 2012, “It is my honor, a real honor, to endorse Mitt Romney.” Now, four years later he repeatedly has characterized Romney as a “failed candidate.” Trump was relentless in painting Romney as the person who is the problem with the Republican. A member of the “establishment”, who splintered the Republicans and allowed for Obama to win. The Donald brought up that Romney “begged” for his endorsement, and would have done anything receive it.
Over the weekend, Trump and Romney continued to rail each other.
Many pundits, such as the New York Times’ Ross Douthat, believe that this was an overdue speech but at the same time an impassioned attack on Trump. On Super Saturday, the Trump train appeared to slow a bit. He lost to Ted Cruz in Kansas, with Cruz winning over 50% of the votes. Trump likewise lost in Oklahoma, Maine, and even Puerto Rico. However, Romney is not whatsoever a Cruz fan, but did say he would rather sign a “write-in instead of Donald Trump.” Those are fighting words coming from the former Massachusetts governor.
Romney made a bold move Thursday by attacking billionaire real-estate mogul Donald Trump. He is being attacked by Trump supporters, Trump himself, and media pundits for it being too poignant. I believe that this was a needed speech if the Republican Party realistically wants a chance to prevent Donald Trump from getting the nomination, Mitt Romney was aimed to be the instrument of that prevention.
Donald Trump currently holds a firm grip on the Republican primaries.