Opinion Outpost Mar. 8


Romney vs. Trump

Mitt Romney’s plea last week for Republican voters to reject Donald Trump marked one of the strongest intraparty attacks yet on the front-runner, but that doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily change anyone’s mind.

Romney’s position as the party’s former standard-bearer actually matters least to the voters he was hoping to reach.

— Ariel Edwards-Levy
The Huffington Post

Mr. Romney did not endorse any specific alternative to Mr. Trump. Mr. Romney, who was rejected by the Republican electorate in 2008 and the rest of the country in 2012, is exactly the kind of politician that the aggrieved crowds backing Mr. Trump are voting against. Indeed, Mr. Romney’s denunciation might well help Mr. Trump with his supporters.

—  Editorial Board
The New York Times

Trump says out loud what Republicans such as Romney prefer to imply.

It’s true that members of the Republican elite such as Romney don’t believe Trump would be a reliable conservative if he took the Oval Office, and they’re right about that. They’re worried he’ll lead the party to defeat in the fall, and they may be right about that, too. But what really has them appalled is the way Trump took the appeals they used to make with at least a veneer of subtlety, and tore that veneer right off.

— Paul Waldman

It’s not that the harsh indictment Mr. Romney launched Thursday is inaccurate — there is really no disputing his many good points. But Mr. Romney is absolutely the wrong person to deliver such an indictment, and his assault is likely to solidify Mr. Trump’s support if not gain him new followers.

… Mitt Romney is really no more than a better-mannered version of Donald Trump.

— Editorial Board
Brattleboro Reformer

Mitt Romney’s shocker of a speech seemed to accomplish only half the job when he didn’t endorse a candidate that Republicans could rally behind to stop Donald Trump. But based on how masterfully the speech was crafted, including a clever little attempt to checkmate Mr. Trump from responding to being called “a phony, a fraud” playing Americans for “suckers,” Mr. Romney may have had a bit more self interest in mind  — setting up a brokered convention in which the party’s elites hand pick the nominee, quite possibly Mitt Romney.

— Editorial Board 
Worcester Telegram

Yes, Romney was a little late to the anti-Trump party, but late is better than never. In an extraordinary and eloquent speech, he eviscerated Trump as dangerous to America’s economy, values and safety. Calling Trump “a phony” and “a fraud,” Romney said the billionaire businessman is unsuited by temperament, character and judgment to occupy the Oval Office and represent America on the world stage.

— Editorial Board 
USA Today

A guy who called half the country losers and hoped voters would confuse his extreme wealth (he called it “success”) for presidential adeptness wants his party’s attention.

That man would be Mitt Romney. (What, you thought I was talking about Donald Trump?)

— Paul Thornton 
Los Angeles Times

True, Mitt Romney is an imperfect messenger for the denunciation of Donald Trump. Mr. Romney cheerfully accepted a Trump endorsement in 2012. He is a quintessential establishment figure.

… And, yes, he is coming late to the argument.

Nevertheless, he was right to deliver his truth-telling message.

— Editorial Board
The Washington Post

Listening to Romney, one also hears a startling lack of self-awareness, given that Romney, more than any other single person, is accountable for Trump’s being in a position to contend seriously for the White House.

— Amy Davidson
The New Yorker

The 17-minute assault on Mr. Trump’s record, temperament and integrity marked another bizarre twist in an already stunning campaign drama that has, in the words of Mr. Romney, “shredded” all the “rules of political history,” pitting the GOP’s last nominee against the favorite to be its next.

— Patrick O’Connor
The Wall Street Journal

A phony and a fraud was visited upon the American people, but it wasn’t only Donald Trump.

Mitt Romney, a two time failure at the presidential sweepstakes and the self-appointed guardian of the Republican establishment, stood at a podium in Utah Thursday morning and accused Donald Trump — the same Donald Trump whose support he courted and touted in 2012 — of being “very, very not smart.”

— Julie Roginsky

On a day when the GOP’s 2016 front-runner and 2012 nominee staged an unprecedented intraparty brawl, high-profile Republicans either took sides, held their fire or watched in horror.

— Craig Gilbert
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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