By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) Mitt Romney really wanted (wants?) to be president but after trying twice and failing, he thought he would have to settle for secretary of state in a Trump administration.
As the president-elect, Donald Trump vetted Romney for the nation’s top diplomatic post in the fall and early winter of 2016, back before the president knew much about “Spygate” and the ramifications of trusting too many GOP establishment insiders.
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The Boston Globe noted that at least some Republican insiders believe that President-elect Trump was seriously considering Romney for the top slot in Foggy Bottom, even after the multimillionaire financial whiz dismissed Trump as a “fraud” and a “phony” before the election.
Others thought Trump was merely toying with Romney and was never really serious about handing him such a high-ranking position:
In hindsight, some said that the famously thin-skinned Trump never truly intended to install Romney and form a “team of rivals.” Trump, after all, has counseled would-be acolytes in the business world that “when someone crosses you, my advice is ‘Get even!’”
“It’s hard to believe that Trump ever seriously considered him for the position, and it’s not hard to believe at all that Trump was simply interested in trying to humiliate Romney in public,” said Dan Schnur, a former aide to Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who is now director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California. “But Mitt Romney is a very smart person and it’s unlikely that he was at all surprised by what the process turned out to be.”
Romney confidants say they still believe Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence were genuinely vetting Romney for the job, with phone calls, a meeting at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J., and a sumptuous two-hour dinner at Jean Georges in Manhattan, complete with frog legs and diver scallops.
“I don’t buy that Trump and Pence and their top advisers would spend all this time and energy if it were just an effort to harass Mitt,” said Dan Senor, who has advised Romney on foreign policy. “The substantive conversations and meetings reflected a serious process.”
Romney sincerely wanted the job as a way to influence a president he had warned could threaten American democracy and stability, Senor said.
“Mitt wasn’t expecting or looking for a job,” he said. “But when they talked to him about the secretary of state position, he believed he could serve the country best and be more effective as a member of the president’s team, rather than trying to make his voice heard from the bleachers.”
Whatever Trump’s effort was — or was not — it’s obvious Romney has long held a grudge against a consummate political outsider whom he (and most other RINO establishment types) doesn’t believe has a ‘right’ to be in the White House, regardless of the 63-plus million Americans who voted for him.
That was in evidence Wednesday when Romney bucked his party and rationality to side with Democrats who are voting to convict the president of impeachment allegations that don’t rise to the level of impeachment and don’t contain any violations of law.
“The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did,” Romney said during his Senate floor speech.
“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust. What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault under electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values,” he declared.
“I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential,” he added.
Breitbart News noted:
The Utah Republican accused the president of withholding U.S. security assistance to Ukraine for his own “personal” benefit, arguing that he would not have asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July to review allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden if it did not help him, politically. …
Romney’s decision sparked a firestorm of criticism, even prompting some of President Trump’s most vocal surrogates to call for the Utah lawmaker to be ejected from the Republican Party.
The Utah senator’s vote did not escape the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., who pointed out what is becoming more and more obvious with each Romney reaction to Trump’s successes.
“Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he’s joining them now,” he tweeted.
Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he’s joining them now.
He’s now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the @GOP.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 5, 2020
So now Romney will officially join the party that called him a callous lout for ‘letting’ an employee’s wife die of cancer, killing his dog, and being accused of cheating on his taxes.
One America News’ Jack Posobiec may be the closest to Romney’s real motivation.
This is the one thing he went to the Senate to do
There is only one response
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 5, 2020
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