Mitt Romney will call Donald J. Trump “a phony” and “a fraud” in a speech on Thursday in which he will urge Republicans to rally around one of Mr. Trump’s presidential rivals, according to excerpts from his remarks. The hastily organized speech, to be delivered in Utah, represents a last-ditch effort among leaders in the Republican Party to blunt Mr. Trump’s momentum before he runs away with the presidential nomination. Mr. Romney has been criticizing Mr. Trump on social media in recent weeks, calling on him to release his tax returns and arguing that slowness to denounce the Ku Klux Klan was disqualifying for a presidential candidate.
.... something happened on the way to the denunciations and purges [of Trump]. Kate Steinle was murdered in San Francisco, a sanctuary city. Steinle was killed in broad daylight on a popular pedestrian pier in a business and tourist district, by an illegal immigrant with a long criminal record who had been deported five times and recently was released from custody…. In the wake of the murder of Kate Steinle, many Republican candidates have denounced the sanctuary-cities agenda. There is talk of withholding funding from cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. But who among the Republican candidates has stood side by side with the families who have lost loved ones to illegal-immigrant criminals? Trump did….”Since then, immigration has continued to be the rocket fuel in Trump's campaign.
"Politicians have promised for 30 years to fix illegal immigration. Have they done it? Donald Trump will do it," Sessions said at the Madison City Schools Stadium, where thousands gathered to hear Trump speak. “I’ve told Donald Trump this isn’t a campaign, this is a movement.” The endorsement represents a major blow to Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), one of Trump's two chief rivals for the Republican nomination. Cruz has touted his strict positions on border security and deportation, leaning on his strident commitment to conservative ideology as a key rationale for his candidacy. In the run-up to the March 1 Super Tuesday primary elections, Cruz has tried to undermine Trump's conservative bona fides on immigration reform, characterizing his plan as “amnesty.”
He also called on the entire GOP field to release their tax returns. “I think there’s something there,” Romney said of Trump’s returns, “Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay,” Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on “Your World.”Trump supporters felt that this was a low blow, and unsubstantiated as well. Also, coming from Romney---the guy many judge as having been insufficiently hard on Obama in 2012---it seemed uncharacteristic. As usual, though, it's always instructive to look at the transcript, and then to do a little digging into the background. In the full transcript Romney went into more detail than that. He went on to say:
I would guess Attorney General is a possibility, too.
Chris Christie endorses Trump. First big endorsement. Possible veep? First reaction is that he ll be good attack dog for Trump.— David Gregory (@davidgregory) February 26, 2016
"Desperate people do desperate things," says Chris Christie. Is he explaining his endorsement?— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 26, 2016
.... Marco Rubio was the first person in any of the debates to successfully take on Trump on a range of issues. Rubio mocked and belittled Trump in the humorous, mocking and highly effective manner that Trump used to make Jeb look small.Mockery can be a very effective tactic against bullies, because it takes their strength and turns it into their weakness. Rubio is on the stump today continuing the mockery, suggesting that Trump was panicking and may even have been worried he wet his pants, via Politico:
There might be a “bombshell” revelation to be discovered in Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s tax returns, 2012 party nominee Mitt Romney said Wednesday. He also called on the entire GOP field to release their tax returns. “I think there’s something there," Romney said of Trump's returns, "Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay,” Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on “Your World.”
Here’s a part of the political calendar that nobody in the Republican Party seems to have noticed: This spring, just as the GOP nomination battle enters its final phase, frontrunner Donald Trump could be forced to take time out for some unwanted personal business: He’s due to take the witness stand in a federal courtroom in San Diego, where he is being accused of running a financial fraud.
What, me worry about him in control of the IRS, FBI, DOJ, CIA, NSA, EPA, and Park Police?Senator Ben Sasse made a similar comment on Twitter yesterday, after Trump threatened the owners of the Chicago Cubs for spending money against him in the campaign:
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Sr. Contrib Editor