The glaring irony of Mitt Romney's speech about Donald Trump compared to take-down he delivered in March

Foes became friends overnight, but the embarrassment of Romney's climb down will be difficult to shake-off 

Heather Saul
Wednesday 30 November 2016 11:46 GMT
Drew Angerer/Getty
Drew Angerer/Getty

It cannot have been easy for Mitt Romney to walk out of that dinner with Donald Trump on Tuesday evening.

For Mr Trump is the celebrity business mogul who knows just how to whip up a media storm. He made sure press were available to document a convivial Mr Romney chowing down on sauteed frog's legs and enjoying his “dinner with the devil” in Manhattan.

The former Massachusetts governor was once one of the billionaire business magnate's most vociferous and dismissive critics. That was until Mr Trump became the President-elect, Mr Romney was lined up for Secretary of State in his cabinet and his focus rapidly moved from derision to courting the approval of his former foe. What a difference a few weeks makes.

Mr Romney’s conversation with journalists teetered on the edge of a Chris Christie eye-screaming moment as he began his humiliating back peddling with a strained smile stretched across his face. It was inevitable that he would become a meme. Caption competitions are still going strong on Wednesday morning.

Glaring irony appears to be the theme of this election. The feeling that something was a bit... off that Melania Trump’s speech on social media bullying delivered was brought about once again as Mr Romney gave an effusive, laudatory summary of Mr Trump's leadership.

Perhaps it was the contrast between this speech and an address Mr Romney gave in March that he was no doubt hoping had slipped to the back of minds now the election is over. Unfortunately, it hadn’t.

Donald Trump: Mitt Romney performs U-turn

“I had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump. We had another discussion about affairs throughout the world and these discussions I've had with him have been enlightening, and interesting, and engaging. I've enjoyed them very, very much.

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 fuelling 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.

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.

“I was also very impressed by the remarks he made on his victory night. By the way, it's not easy winning. I know that myself. He did something I tried to do and was unsuccessful in. He won the general election and he continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together."

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.

“His vision is something which obviously connected with the American people in a very powerful way. The last few weeks he's been carrying out a transition effort and I have to tell you I've been impressed by what I've seen in the transition effort.

“I think you're going to see America continue to lead the world in this century. And what I've seen through these discussions I've had with President-elect Trump, as well as what we've seen in his speech the night of his victory, as well as the people he's selected as part of his transition, all of those things combined give me increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future.”

If we make improvident choices, the bright horizon I’ve described will not materialise. And let me put it very plainly. If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.

If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into prolonged recession. 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.

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.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in