Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

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John F
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Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by John F » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:45 am

If there is such a thing as a spokesman for the Republican Party as a whole - the Republican establishment, if you like - it's the party's last nominee for president, Mitt Romney, for whom 61 million voted in 2012. Here's part of what he said in a 15-minute speech at the Hinckley Institute.


...If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished. Let me explain why I say that.

First on the economy. If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into prolonged recession. A few examples. His proposed 35 percent tariff-like penalties would instigate a trade war and that would raise prices for consumers, kill our export jobs and lead entrepreneurs and businesses of all stripes to flee America. His tax plan in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements and honestly address spending would balloon the deficit and the national debt. So even though Donald Trump has offered very few specific economic plans, what little he has said is enough to know that he would be very bad for American workers and for American families.

But you say, wait, wait, wait, isn’t he a huge business success? Doesn’t he know what he’s talking about? No, he isn’t and no he doesn’t. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who work for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it. And whatever 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.

Now, not every policy that Donald Trump has floated is bad, of course. He wants to repeal and replace Obamacare. He wants to bring jobs home from China and Japan. But his prescriptions to do those things are flimsy at best. At the last debate, all he could remember about his health care plan was to remove insurance boundaries between states. Successfully bringing jobs home requires serious policy and reforms that make America the place businesses want to come, want to plant and want to grow. You can’t punish business into doing what you want.

Frankly, the only serious policy proposals that deal with a broad range of national challenges we confront today come from Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich. One of these men should be our nominee.

Now, I know that some people want this race to be over. They look at history and say a trend like Mr. Trump’s isn’t going to be stopped. Perhaps. But the rules of political history have pretty much all been shredded during this campaign. If the other candidates can find some common ground, I believe we can nominate a person who can win the general election and who will represent the values and policies of conservatism. Given the current delegate selection process, that means that I’d vote for Marco Rubio in Florida and for John Kasich in Ohio and for Ted Cruz or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state.

Now let me turn to national security and the safety of our homes and loved ones. Mr. Trump’s bombast is already alarming the allies and fueling the enmity of our enemies. Insulting all Muslims will keep many of them from fully engaging with us in the urgent fight against ISIS, and for what purpose? Muslim terrorists would only have to lie about their religion to enter the country. And then what he said on “60 Minutes” about Syria and ISIS, and it has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the entire campaign season. Let ISIS take out Assad, he said, and then we can pick up the remnants. Now, think about that. Let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over an entire country? This is recklessness in the extreme.

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.

Now, I’m far from the first to conclude that Donald Trump lacks the temperament to be president. After all, this is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle, who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance, who bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity. Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin, at the same time he has called George W. Bush a liar. That is a twisted example of evil trumping good.

There is a dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War. While at the same time, John McCain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.

Dishonesty is Donald Trump’s hallmark. He claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into Iraq. Wrong. He spoke in favor of invading Iraq. He said he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. Wrong. He saw no such thing. He imagined it. He’s not of the temperament of the kind of stable, thoughtful person we need as a leader. His imagination must not be married to real power...

Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities. The bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics. You know, we have long referred to him as “The Donald.” He’s the only person in the entire country to whom we have added an article before his name, and it was not because he had attributes we admired. Now, imagine your children and your grandchildren acting the way he does. Would 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.

Watch, by the way, how he responds to my speech today. Will he talk about our policy differences? Or will he attack me with every imaginable low road insult? This may tell you what you need to know about his temperament, his stability and his suitability to be president.

Now, Mr. Trump relishes any poll that reflects what he thinks of himself. But polls are also saying that he will lose to Hillary Clinton. Think about that... Of course, a Trump nomination enables her victory. And the audio and video of the infamous Tapper-Trump exchange on the Ku Klux Klan will play 100,000 times on cable and who knows how many million times on social media.

There are a number of people who claim that Mr. Trump is a con man, a fake. Let me say that again. There’s plenty of evidence that Mr. Trump is a con man, a fake. Mr. Trump has changed his positions not just over the years, but over the course of the campaign. And on the Ku Klux Klan, daily for three days in a row.

We will only really know if he’s a real deal or a phony if he releases his tax returns and the tape of his interview with The New York Times. I predict that there are more bombshells in his tax returns. I predict that he doesn’t give much, if anything, to the disabled and to our veterans. I predict that he told The New York Times that his immigration talk is just that — talk. And I predict that despite his promise to do so, first made over a year ago, that he will never ever release his tax returns. Never — not the returns under audit; not even the returns that are no longer being audited. He has too much to hide. Nor will he authorize the release of the tapes that he made with The New York Times...

I understand the anger Americans feel today. In the past, our presidents have channeled that anger and forged it into resolve, into endurance and high purpose, and into the will to defeat the enemies of freedom. Our anger was transformed into energy directed for good. Mr. Trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes. He creates scapegoats of Muslims and Mexican immigrants. He calls for the use of torture. He calls for killing the innocent children and family members of terrorists. He cheers assaults on protesters. He applauds the prospect of twisting the Constitution to limit First Amendment freedom of the press. This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss.

Here's what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the members of the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat. His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president and his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.

I’m convinced America has greatness ahead. And this is a time for choosing. God bless us to choose a nominee who will make that vision a reality...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/po ... peech.html
Last edited by John F on Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
John Francis

John F
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Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by John F » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:52 am

Ross Douthat is a regular conservative op-ed columnist for the New York Times.

Romney Versus Trump
Ross Douthat
March 3, 2016

The sophisticated take on Mitt Romney’s remarkable broadside against Donald Trump’s policy positions, business acumen and personal morals this morning is that it was an unforced blunder that probably only helps Trump. After all, who more than Romney embodies the establishment that Trump’s followers so despise? Who more than Romney, who lost to Obama in a race most Republicans expected to win, embodies the lack of “winning” that Trump has so skillfully attacked? How can Romney of all people, a scion of wealth and a frequent flip-flopper, be the right person to press the case that Trump is an unprincipled silver-spooner? And didn’t Romney accept Trump’s endorsement just four short years ago?

These are good questions, but let me make a perhaps-unsophisticated counterpoint. We live in a political world where much of the Republican Party spent six months telling itself that it didn’t really need to persuade Trump voters not to vote for Trump, that his candidacy would simply fall apart on his own. Now many of those same geniuses have decided that it’s now too late to persuade voters not to vote for Trump, that they’re beyond the reach of reason, and that any attempt to talk them out of their fascination will just make them angrier and more Trump-besotted.

Which for some of them it no doubt will. But if you think your voters are about to make a catastrophic, even republic-threatening mistake, don’t you have an obligation to actually, at some point in the process, make that case to them? Just for a few weeks, at least, before you give up in dismay?

The idea that it can’t be done, that Trump voters are all locked-in lunatics with no capacity to take in new information, seems like just another version of the elite condescension toward rank and file Republicans that enabled Trump’s rise in the first place. And in that context Romney’s speech was actually an admirable, long-overdue attempt to break with that condescension, to treat primary voters as adults, to actually share with them the wide range of reasons — and Romney covered the waterfront — why Donald Trump does not deserve their trust.

Was he the best person imaginable to give the speech? No, but he might have been the best person available. He was the party’s last nominee for president. He isn’t running for president this time (we think; let’s see where things stand at the convention), so his arguments are less likely to seem flailing and self-interested. He’s still popular with Republicans, and he has a gravitas that both Cruz and Rubio lack; he’s a flip-flopper, but nobody doubts his patriotism; he can drive media attention in a way that, say, Ben Sasse cannot. And many Trump voters, believe it or not, were Romney stalwarts in the 2012 primary. (He isn’t only winning over working class Republicans; there’s a strong “we like that he’s a businessman” element to Trump’s appeal as well.) In the late fall, months into Trump’s ascendancy, the Boston Globe polled New Hampshire and found that if Romney were in the race he’d be leading Trump by 31 percent to 15 percent. The idea that he’d be automatically tuned out by those same voters now may seem intuitive, but it lacks empirical support.

Again, in an ideal world the Republican Party would have someone more effective than Romney — a successful, popular two-term president, let’s say — available to make the honest broker’s #neverTrump pitch. But we don’t live in that world; what the party has in its post-George W. Bush brokenness are various compromised figures, none of whom are ideal anti-Trumps. And I do think Romney’s speech would have been better — much better, to my mind — if he had acknowledged as much, by admitting his own mistake in accepting Trump’s endorsement four years ago, and casting his intervention now as, in part, an act of penance.

But better what he did offer than the nothing, or the outright capitulation, that many figures associated with Republican politics seem to be offering instead. The idea that Trump can’t be beaten is insane; the idea that he shouldn’t be beaten is immoral; the idea that it isn’t worth even trying to beat him is the lamest thing I’ve ever seen in politics. So good on Romney for trying: All that is necessary for the triumph of Trump, it would seem, is for party men to do nothing — while telling themselves, mournfully, that there just wasn’t anything to be done.

http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/0 ... sus-trump/
Last edited by John F on Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
John Francis

John F
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Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by John F » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:45 am

Senator John McCain, Republican nominee for the presidency in 2008, posted this on his web site immediately after Romney's speech:
John McCain wrote:I share the concerns about Donald Trump that my friend and former Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, described in his speech today. I would also echo the many concerns about Mr. Trump’s uninformed and indeed dangerous statements on national security issues that have been raised by 65 Republican defense and foreign policy leaders.

“At a time when our world has never been more complex or more in danger, as we watch the threatening actions of a neo-imperial Russia, an assertive China, an expansionist Iran, an insane North Korean ruler, and terrorist movements that are metastasizing across the Middle East and Africa, I want Republican voters to pay close attention to what our party's most respected and knowledgeable leaders and national security experts are saying about Mr. Trump, and to think long and hard about who they want to be our next Commander-in-Chief and leader of the free world.
Senator McCain later said that regardless, he would support the Republican presidential nominee even if it's Donald Trump. He should take his own advice and think long and hard about that.
Last edited by John F on Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
John Francis

John F
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Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by John F » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:46 am

In his statement, Senator McCain he alludes not only to the Romney speech but to the following open letter of March 2 on Donald Trump signed by 95 Republican national security experts:
We the undersigned, members of the Republican national security community, represent a broad spectrum of opinion on America’s role in the world and what is necessary to keep us safe and prosperous. We have disagreed with one another on many issues, including the Iraq war and intervention in Syria. But we are united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency. Recognizing as we do, the conditions in American politics that have contributed to his popularity, we nonetheless are obligated to state our core objections clearly:

His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.

His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world.

His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.

His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combatting Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims.

Controlling our border and preventing illegal immigration is a serious issue, but his insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border inflames unhelpful passions, and rests on an utter misreading of, and contempt for, our southern neighbor.

Similarly, his insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer, not the leader of the alliances that have served us so well since World War II.

His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world’s greatest democracy.

He is fundamentally dishonest. Evidence of this includes his attempts to deny positions he has unquestionably taken in the past, including on the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Libyan conflict. We accept that views evolve over time, but this is simply misrepresentation.

His equation of business acumen with foreign policy experience is false. Not all lethal conflicts can be resolved as a real estate deal might, and there is no recourse to bankruptcy court in international affairs.

Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.

David Adesnik
Michael Auslin
Kevin W. Billings
Robert D. Blackwill
Daniel A. Blumenthal
Max Boot
Ellen Bork
Joseph A. Bosco
Michael Chertoff
Patrick Chovanec
James Clad
Eliot A. Cohen
Carrie Cordero
Michael Coulter
Chester A. Crocker
Patrick M. Cronin
Seth Cropsey
Tom Donnelly
Daniel Drezner
Colin Dueck
Eric Edelman
Joseph Esposito
Richard A. Falkenrath
Peter D. Feaver
Niall Ferguson
Richard Fontaine
Aaron Friedberg
Greg Garcia
Jana Chapman Gates
Jeffrey Gedmin
Reuel Marc Gerecht
David Gordon
Christopher J. Griffin
Mary R. Habeck
Paul Haenle
Melinda Haring
Robert Hastings
Rebeccah Heinrichs
Jeffrey W. Hornung
William C. Inboden
Jamil N. Jaffer
Ash Jain
Myriah Jordan
Robert G. Joseph
Kate Kidder
Robert Kagan
David Kramer
Matthew Kroenig
Frank Lavin
Philip I. Levy
Philip Lohaus
Mary Beth Long
Peter Mansoor
John Maurer
Matthew McCabe
Bryan McGrath
Paul D. Miller
Charles Morrison
Lester Munson
Andrew S. Natsios
Michael Noonan
John Noonan
Roger F. Noriega
Robert T. Osterhaler
Mackubin T. Owens
Everett Pyatt
Martha T. Rainville
Stephen Rodriguez
Marc A. Ross
Michael Rubin
Daniel F. Runde
Benjamin Runkle
Richard L. Russell
Andrew Sagor
Kori Schake
Randy Scheunemann
Gary J. Schmitt
Gabriel Schoenfeld
Kalev I. Sepp
Vance Serchuk
David R. Shedd
Kristen Silverberg
Michael Singh
Ray Takeyh
William H. Tobey
Frances F. Townsend
Jan Van Tol
Daniel Vajdich
Albert Wolf
Julie Wood
Dov S. Zakheim
Roger Zakheim
Philip Zelikow
Robert B. Zoellick
Laurence Zuriff
Last edited by John F on Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
John Francis

rwetmore
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Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by rwetmore » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:36 am

Except it's a big façade:

Mitt Romney praises Donald Trump

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlD4hwz ... e=youtu.be
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

rwetmore
Posts: 3042
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:24 pm

Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by rwetmore » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:38 am

Ann Romney praises Trump for ‘bringing more people to the table’

http://www.theamericanmirror.com/ann-ro ... the-table/
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

lennygoran
Posts: 12783
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by lennygoran » Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:52 am

John Romney`s statement covers the ground beautifully imo--thanks for posting it! Len

karlhenning
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by karlhenning » Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:17 am

John F wrote:In his statement, Senator McCain he alludes not only to the Romney speech but to the following open letter of March 2 on Donald Brump signed by 95 Republican national security experts:
We the undersigned, members of the Republican national security community, represent a broad spectrum of opinion on America’s role in the world and what is necessary to keep us safe and prosperous. We have disagreed with one another on many issues, including the Iraq war and intervention in Syria. But we are united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency. Recognizing as we do, the conditions in American politics that have contributed to his popularity, we nonetheless are obligated to state our core objections clearly:

His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.

His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world.

His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.

His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combatting Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims.

Controlling our border and preventing illegal immigration is a serious issue, but his insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border inflames unhelpful passions, and rests on an utter misreading of, and contempt for, our southern neighbor.

Similarly, his insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer, not the leader of the alliances that have served us so well since World War II.

His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world’s greatest democracy.

He is fundamentally dishonest. Evidence of this includes his attempts to deny positions he has unquestionably taken in the past, including on the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Libyan conflict. We accept that views evolve over time, but this is simply misrepresentation.

His equation of business acumen with foreign policy experience is false. Not all lethal conflicts can be resolved as a real estate deal might, and there is no recourse to bankruptcy court in international affairs.

Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.

David Adesnik
Michael Auslin
Kevin W. Billings
Robert D. Blackwill
Daniel A. Blumenthal
Max Boot
Ellen Bork
Joseph A. Bosco
Michael Chertoff
Patrick Chovanec
James Clad
Eliot A. Cohen
Carrie Cordero
Michael Coulter
Chester A. Crocker
Patrick M. Cronin
Seth Cropsey
Tom Donnelly
Daniel Drezner
Colin Dueck
Eric Edelman
Joseph Esposito
Richard A. Falkenrath
Peter D. Feaver
Niall Ferguson
Richard Fontaine
Aaron Friedberg
Greg Garcia
Jana Chapman Gates
Jeffrey Gedmin
Reuel Marc Gerecht
David Gordon
Christopher J. Griffin
Mary R. Habeck
Paul Haenle
Melinda Haring
Robert Hastings
Rebeccah Heinrichs
Jeffrey W. Hornung
William C. Inboden
Jamil N. Jaffer
Ash Jain
Myriah Jordan
Robert G. Joseph
Kate Kidder
Robert Kagan
David Kramer
Matthew Kroenig
Frank Lavin
Philip I. Levy
Philip Lohaus
Mary Beth Long
Peter Mansoor
John Maurer
Matthew McCabe
Bryan McGrath
Paul D. Miller
Charles Morrison
Lester Munson
Andrew S. Natsios
Michael Noonan
John Noonan
Roger F. Noriega
Robert T. Osterhaler
Mackubin T. Owens
Everett Pyatt
Martha T. Rainville
Stephen Rodriguez
Marc A. Ross
Michael Rubin
Daniel F. Runde
Benjamin Runkle
Richard L. Russell
Andrew Sagor
Kori Schake
Randy Scheunemann
Gary J. Schmitt
Gabriel Schoenfeld
Kalev I. Sepp
Vance Serchuk
David R. Shedd
Kristen Silverberg
Michael Singh
Ray Takeyh
William H. Tobey
Frances F. Townsend
Jan Van Tol
Daniel Vajdich
Albert Wolf
Julie Wood
Dov S. Zakheim
Roger Zakheim
Philip Zelikow
Robert B. Zoellick
Laurence Zuriff
Brilliant.

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

John F
Posts: 18777
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by John F » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:53 pm

rwetmore wrote:Except it's a big façade:

Mitt Romney praises Donald Trump

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlD4hwz ... e=youtu.be
Click on that link and you'll find, "That video does not exist." :roll:

Anyway, that was then, this is now.

As for Ann Romney, why does it matter what she thinks? But since you mention it, she hasn't endorsed Trump or agreed with anything he has said. She gives him credit only for "bringing more people to the table than we ever thought," which benefits the Republican Party as a whole, and that's appropriate for a Republican political wife to say. But otherwise she keeps her distance - and rightly so.
John Francis

John F
Posts: 18777
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by John F » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:42 am

A conservative and a Republican, David Brooks has always dismissed Donald Trump as unfit to be president, but assumed that Republican voters would be sensible and blow him away in the primaries. Now that Trump is winning most of the primaries and looks almost sure to win the presidential nomination, Brooks is furious about it. Of course the Trump supporters and fearful Republican politicians will pay no attention.


No, Not Trump, Not Ever
David Brooks
MARCH 18, 2016

The voters have spoken. In convincing fashion, Republican voters seem to be selecting Donald Trump as their nominee. And in a democracy, victory has legitimacy to it. Voters are rarely wise but are usually sensible. They understand their own problems. And so deference is generally paid to the candidate who wins.

And deference is being paid. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida is urging Republicans to coalesce around Trump. Pundits are coming out with their “What We Can Learn” commentaries. Those commentaries are built on a hidden respect for the outcome, that this is a rejection of a Republicanism that wasn’t working and it points in some better direction.

The question is: Should deference be paid to this victor? Should we bow down to the judgment of these voters?

Well, some respect is in order. Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them, so naturally they are looking for something else. Moreover, many in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. For me, it’s a lesson that I have to change the way I do my job if I’m going to report accurately on this country.

And yet reality is reality. Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.

Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy. This week, the Politico reporters Daniel Lippman, Darren Samuelsohn and Isaac Arnsdorf fact-checked 4.6 hours of Trump speeches and press conferences. They found more than five dozen untrue statements, or one every five minutes. “His remarks represent an extraordinary mix of inaccurate claims about domestic and foreign policy and personal and professional boasts that rarely measure up when checked against primary sources,” they wrote.

He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12. He surrounds himself with sycophants. “You can always tell when the king is here,” Trump’s butler told Jason Horowitz in a recent Times profile. He brags incessantly about his alleged prowess, like how far he can hit a golf ball. “Do I hit it long? Is Trump strong?” he asks.

In some rare cases, political victors do not deserve our respect. George Wallace won elections, but to endorse those outcomes would be a moral failure. And so it is with Trump.

History is a long record of men like him temporarily rising, stretching back to biblical times. Psalm 73 describes them: “Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. … They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.” And yet their success is fragile: “Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly they are destroyed.”

The psalmist reminds us that the proper thing to do in the face of demagogy is to go the other way — to make an extra effort to put on decency, graciousness, patience and humility, to seek a purity of heart that is stable and everlasting.

The Republicans who coalesce around Trump are making a political error. They are selling their integrity for a candidate who will probably lose. About 60 percent of Americans disapprove of him, and that number has been steady since he began his campaign.

Worse, there are certain standards more important than one year’s election. There are certain codes that if you betray them, you suffer something much worse than a political defeat. Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship. He pollutes the atmosphere in which our children are raised. He has already shredded the unspoken rules of political civility that make conversation possible. In his savage regime, public life is just a dog-eat-dog war of all against all.

As the founders would have understood, he is a threat to the long and glorious experiment of American self-government. He is precisely the kind of scapegoating, promise-making, fear-driving and deceiving demagogue they feared.

Trump’s supporters deserve respect. They are left out of this economy. But Trump himself? No, not Trump, not ever.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/18/opini ... -ever.html
John Francis

karlhenning
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Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by karlhenning » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:50 am

El Tupé has repeatedly demonstrated the foolishness of relying on the GOP electorate to exercise good sense.

Cheers,
~k.
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lennygoran
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Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:46 am

karlhenning wrote:El Tupé has repeatedly demonstrated the foolishness of relying on the GOP electorate to exercise good sense.

Cheers,
~k.
Karl then there are the leaders meeting behind closed doors! :lol:


Republican Leaders Map a Strategy to Derail Donald Trump

By ALEXANDER BURNS and JONATHAN MARTINMARCH 19, 2016


Republican leaders adamantly opposed to Donald J. Trump’s candidacy are preparing a 100-day campaign to deny him the presidential nomination, starting with an aggressive battle in Wisconsin’s April 5 primary and extending into the summer, with a delegate-by-delegate lobbying effort that would cast Mr. Trump as a calamitous choice for the general election.

Recognizing that Mr. Trump has seized a formidable advantage in the race, they say that an effort to block him would rely on an array of desperation measures, the political equivalent of guerrilla fighting.

There is no longer room for error or delay, the anti-Trump forces say, and without a flawlessly executed plan of attack, he could well become unstoppable.

But should that effort falter, leading conservatives are prepared to field an independent candidate in the general election, to defend Republican principles and offer traditional conservatives an alternative to Mr. Trump’s hard-edged populism. They described their plans in interviews after Mr. Trump’s victories last Tuesday in Florida and three other states.
Photo
Former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas speaking last month at an event in San Antonio before Senator Ted Cruz took the stage. Some prominent Republicans have considered Mr. Perry as a possible independent candidate for the general election if Mr. Trump receives the party’s presidential nomination. Credit Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

The names of a few well-known conservatives have been offered up in recent days as potential third-party standard-bearers, and William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, has circulated a memo to a small number of conservative allies detailing the process by which an independent candidate could get on general-election ballots across the country.

Among the recruits under discussion are Tom Coburn, a former Oklahoma senator who has told associates that he would be open to running, and Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who was suggested as a possible third-party candidate at a meeting of conservative activists on Thursday in Washington.

Mr. Coburn, who left the Senate early last year to receive treatment for cancer, said in an interview that Mr. Trump “needs to be stopped” and that he expected to back an independent candidate against him. He said he had little appetite for a campaign of his own, but did not flatly rule one out.


“I’m going to support that person,” Mr. Coburn said, “and I don’t expect that person to be me.”
Graphic: Rubio’s Exit Leaves Trump With an Open Path to 1,237 Delegates

Trump opponents convened a series of war councils last week to pinpoint his biggest vulnerabilities and consider whether to endorse one of his two remaining opponents, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.

Mr. Trump has a delegate lead of about 250 over Mr. Cruz, the second-place candidate, but he has repeatedly acted in ways that push party leaders farther from his camp. On Thursday, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan sternly admonished him for saying his supporters would riot if Republicans nominated someone else, the latest in a series of remarks Mr. Trump has made that seemed to encourage or condone violence.

David McIntosh, president of the conservative Club for Growth, which has spent millions on ads attacking Mr. Trump, said his group met on Wednesday and concluded it was still possible to avert Mr. Trump’s nomination. The group plans a comprehensive study of Trump supporters to sharpen a message aimed at driving them away from him.

“This is still a winnable race for a free-market conservative that’s not Donald Trump,” Mr. McIntosh said, adding, “It’s not a layup, but there’s a clear path to victory.”
Photo
Former Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, on Capitol Hill in 2013, about two years before he left office to focus on receiving treatment for cancer. Mr. Coburn has been mentioned as a possible third-party challenger. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

A Delegate War

Central to this plan is stopping Mr. Trump in Wisconsin, the next major showdown after contests that Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz are expected to split this week in Arizona and Utah.

On Thursday, the Club for Growth sent a three-page memo to influential Republican donors promising to spend as much as $2 million in Wisconsin and arguing that “the only viable option to defeat Donald Trump is Ted Cruz.”

The memo conceded it was “very unlikely” that Mr. Cruz could overtake Mr. Trump in the delegate count, but outlined a strategy to deny Mr. Trump the 1,237 delegates required to clinch the nomination before the convention in Cleveland in July.

Mr. Cruz and Mr. Kasich also see the Wisconsin primary as pivotal. Mr. Cruz’s campaign is dispatching additional staff members there and opening a “Camp Cruz” to house volunteers. The campaign will begin running ads there in the next few days, aiming to get a head start on Mr. Trump in the state.
Photo
A sticker for Gov. John Kasich of Ohio being handed out on the night of the state’s primary last week. Mr. Kasich, in third place among the remaining Republican candidates, has shown no sign of relenting in the campaign, and his supporters plan to argue at the convention that he is the party’s only electable contender. Credit Mark Makela for The New York Times

Beginning with Wisconsin, the race moves into states that apportion delegates based on who wins in each congressional district, which would allow anti-Trump forces to peel delegates away from him in states like New York and California, where he is expected to run strong. A few of the remaining winner-take-all states, like Montana and South Dakota, appear friendly to Mr. Cruz.

Anti-Trump Republicans said they would use the six weeks between the last primaries and the mid-July convention to woo individual delegates.

A number of states, including Pennsylvania and Colorado, send large numbers of uncommitted delegates to the convention, making those party regulars especially ripe targets for courtship. Other states will be sending delegates bound to candidates who have left the race, like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeb Bush. Those delegates could be persuaded to vote for Mr. Cruz or Mr. Kasich after the first ballot.

To justify rejecting Mr. Trump in Cleveland, Republicans say they will have to convince both delegates and the public that it was not the party’s obligation to hand him a nomination he did not secure on his own.
Graphic: 2016 Delegate Count and Primary Results

“The burden is on Trump, not the party, if he fails to clinch the nomination,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who advises the House leadership. “He has presented himself as the ultimate dealmaker, and it’s on him to close this one.”

Mr. Trump has said that he expects to win a majority of the delegates before Cleveland, and that if he falls just short it would be unconscionable for the party to nominate someone else.

A Split Opposition

Mr. Trump’s hand has been strengthened by disagreements within the stop-Trump forces, which fall along familiar lines: Conservative activists are uneasy with the party establishment and favor Mr. Cruz, while many Republican elites have warmed to Mr. Kasich, recoiling from those they perceive as ideological purists.

Mitt Romney, the party’s nominee in 2012, attempted to bridge that divide on Friday by revealing that he would support Mr. Cruz in Utah and warning that “a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trump-ism would prevail.” But contempt for Mr. Cruz runs deep in Washington. Since the withdrawal of Mr. Rubio, who had the support of many fellow senators, just one has endorsed Mr. Cruz.


About two dozen conservative leaders met Thursday at a private club in Washington, where some pushed for the group to come out for Mr. Cruz to rebut the perception that the stop-Trump campaign was an establishment plot. “If we leave here supporting Cruz, then we’re anti-establishment,” said one participant, who could be heard by a reporter outside.

But the group failed to agree on an endorsement, instead pleading for Mr. Kasich and Mr. Cruz to avoid competing in states where one of them is favored. “They’re going to have to come to terms and lay off each other,” said Erick Erickson, an influential conservative commentator, who convened the meeting.

Yet in a sign that there is no such détente, Mr. Kasich ran ads and campaigned in Utah this weekend, angering aides to Mr. Cruz, who hopes to reach the 50 percent threshold needed to claim all the state’s delegates. Mr. Kasich also refused to participate in a one-on-one debate, without Mr. Trump — denying them both considerable media exposure and an important online fund-raising opportunity.

But Mr. Kasich’s backers have no appetite for a head-to-head ideological fight with Mr. Cruz on national television. They are focused on winning delegates wherever they can so that nobody reaches a majority before Cleveland, where Mr. Kasich’s supporters plan to argue that he is the only electable Republican contender.


Abandoning the Party

For Republicans opposed to Mr. Trump under any circumstances, a third-party campaign offers a last refuge. Such a candidacy might gain support from high levels of the party: Mr. Romney has said he would be inclined to vote for a third candidate over Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Advisers to Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who considered an independent run, concluded that petition gathering would have to begin by early March for a candidate to appear on November ballots in all 50 states.

But an independent could still get on ballots in dozens of states — or perhaps seek the nomination of the Libertarian Party, which is already on the ballot in most states and does not pick a candidate until late May.

Mr. Kristol, a leading critic of Mr. Trump, said in an interview that he believed it was not too late to put forward a viable independent candidacy. “I think the ballot access question is manageable,” he said. “The big question is, who’s the candidate?”

At the meeting in Washington Thursday, Mr. Perry’s name was raised among several options, but his associates said that while he has fielded inquiries, he remains committed to backing Mr. Cruz.

Mr. Erickson described Mr. Perry as a “consensus choice” for an independent campaign: “He would win Texas and at least obstruct Trump.”

Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the national Libertarian Party’s executive body, said its convention in Orlando could be open to a late entrant. But several candidates are already pursuing the nomination, including Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor who was the party’s 2012 nominee.

“Theoretically, someone could come in,” Mr. Sarwark said, adding, “But you’d better be a pretty impressive man off the street.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/us/po ... -news&_r=0

John F
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Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by John F » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:51 am

I read that piece and decided not to post it here, because of course we assume that such plotting is going on, but it's pretty clear that such measures aren't going to stop people from voting for Trump. As for supporting a second Republican candidate via the Libertarian Party or some other such gambit, that doesn't look likely either - the Libertarian Party has its own candidates and I can't see it surrendering its line on the ballot to a mainstream Republican and therefore non-libertarian candidate. We might as well wait until the primary voting's done and then we'll see whether the nomination is locked up.

One angle which I've heard and read about recently is the actual delegates who go to Cleveland to cast their votes. At present, most of these haven't been chosen; the primary results almost all amount to a fill-in-the-blanks slate, and the actual people will be selected in a variety of ways depending on the party's rules in each state. Presumably they will vote the primary results on the first ballot, but if the convention goes to a second ballot, they will be free to vote their own inclinations. So there are a lot of back-room machinations to manage what those inclinations will be. If, say, the Republican Party of a Trump state packs its delegation with Cruz supporters, then Cruz could win at the convention what he couldn't in the primary. And if no candidate carries the second ballot... :roll: It would be like old times.

By the way, if you've noticed the absence of a familiar handle in these threads the last couple of days, it's because rwetmore has apparently been ushered out of CMG.
John Francis

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Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:11 am

John F wrote: Presumably they will vote the primary results on the first ballot, but if the convention goes to a second ballot, they will be free to vote their own inclinations. So there are a lot of back-room machinations to manage what those inclinations will be. If, say, the Republican Party of a Trump state packs its delegation with Cruz supporters, then Cruz could win at the convention what he couldn't in the primary. And if no candidate carries the second ballot... :roll: It would be like old times.
Yes I heard that on the news yesterday-can't remember if it was CNN or the nightly news? Sure is interesting but also depressing when you think of what's going on. Regards, Len :(

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Re: Mitt Romney and others on Donald Trump

Post by John F » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:11 pm

Whatever the Republicans do, I'm in favor of it. If Trump walks away with the nomination, he's a loser in the November election, and since Republicans are likely to show their displeasure by staying home and not voting at all, the Republican incumbents in the Senate and House may lose too. If Trump almost makes it but the convention nominates somebody else, it's his followers who are likely to stay home, and whoever the nominee is should also lose the election. If Trump is nominated and the Republican establishment runs another candidate against him, whether on another party's ticket or as an independent, that splits the Republican vote, and guess what happens. There's really nothing for Democrats and liberals to be depressed about, unless they're against Hillary Clinton too.
John Francis

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