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    Mitt Romney Tag

    Earlier this year, Kemberlee blogged about former Massachusetts governor and former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney announcing his Senate run in Utah.  Romney is running to fill the Utah Senate seat being vacated by Senator Orrin Hatch (R). He failed to secure the Republican nomination yesterday and will now run in Utah's June primary against Utah state representative Mike Kennedy.

    Former Massachusetts governor and twice failed GOP candidate for president Mitt Romney is reportedly quite seriously contemplating a Senate run in Utah.  While the senior senator from Utah Orrin Hatch (R) has not announced any plans to retire, it appears that the Utah GOP is ready for Romney. Romney is no stranger to Senate campaigns; he ran against Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in 1994 and lost.  Utah, however, may be just the ticket for Romney who has high approval numbers there and is a favorite among the Utah GOP.

    Say what you will about Donny Deutsch, but the man-about-Manhattan and the Hamptons moves in the Trump social circle and is well-connected there. So attention must be paid to Deutsch's declaration on today's With All Due Respect. Asked by Mark Halperin whether the talk about Romney being considered for Secretary of State is "real, whether Romney might end up with the job," Deutsch responded: "somebody very, very, very high up in the inner [Trump] circle yesterday told me it was very, very real," and that this person was "very excited about it." Halperin prefaced his question to Deutsch by mentioning that that the prospect of Romney as Secretary of State has been met with very favorable reactions. That might be a kiss of death among conservatives, but the fact is that Romney has demonstrated a good understanding of the opportunities and threats facing America around the world.

    According to new polling, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has more support from military veterans than the other presidential candidates.  Recent polling of active military showed 37% of respondents chose Johnson, reports The Hill. Depending upon the accuracy of the polling, it may serve as further evidence that military service members are increasingly Libertarian.

    Mitt Romney has entered the next phase of his stop Trump crusade and will campaign with Ohio governor John Kasich in the state Monday. NBC News reported:
    Mitt Romney to Campaign with John Kasich in Ohio Mitt Romney will campaign with John Kasich Monday at two stops in Ohio, NBC News has learned from a source familiar with the plans. Romney is not expected to endorse the Ohio governor during the campaign swing, the source said, but it will be the first time Romney has campaigned on behalf of a Republican candidate this cycle.

    Mitt Romney already has gone after Donald Trump, suggesting there might be a "bombshell" in the tax returns Trump now refuses to make public. Romney is stepping it up a notch, giving a speech today starting at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, in which he lashes out at Donald Trump:
    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.

    On Wednesday Mitt Romney said some interesting things about Donald Trump and his tax returns, and they got picked up by a lot of news outlets and pundits, including Legal Insurrection. This is the way his remarks were generally reported:
    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:

    In an interview with Fox News today, Mitt Romney suggested there was reason to believe there is a bombshell in the tax returns Donald Trump has not yet released:
    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.”

    National Review has a special issue Against Donald Trump, with columns by 22 people, most of whom are familiar conservative writers and media personalities. I skimmed a few of the columns and they make the case persuasively that Trump is not a conservative. You know the arguments already. He's for activist big government, a populist with no conservative ideological compass, and is not what he purports to be even on his core issue of immigration (where he may be to the left of Marco Rubio in reality). National Review Conservatives Against Trump Cover

    Back in 2012, Mitt Romney got raked over the coals for saying during a presidential debate that he had "binders full of women" from which he picked some of his top advisors. It was a memeworthy moment for the Romney campaign, and gave birth to a truckload of "binder" memes. Feminists immediately protested---why wasn't Romney able to immediately name smart, qualified women to his staff? Why did he need to curate names in order to diversify his male-only senior staff at Bain? It's a meme that should have died with the 2012 cycle, but alas---I must resurrect it in the name of making fun of Hillary Clinton. Clinton has made a name for herself as someone who has climbed the ladder, crashed through the glass ceiling, and created for herself a very comfortable perch. She has played the gender card more times than seems reasonable (or possible,) and frequently stumps on women's issues as a way of distinguishing herself from her opponents. So why is she having trouble answering a fluff question about women? All 5,472 Republican presidential candidates were asked in this month's CNN debate which woman they would choose to put on the ten dollar bill. Their answers ranged from prominent historical figures to their own wives, but each candidate managed to burp up a response to a question with no right answer. Clinton? Not so much. Watch, courtesy of TMZ:

    General Joseph Dunford has been nominated to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While testifying before congress yesterday, he made one claim that might come as news to President Obama. Phil Stewart and David Alexander of Reuters reported:
    Russia is top U.S. national security threat: Gen. Dunford Russia presents the greatest threat to U.S. national security and its behavior is "nothing short of alarming," Marine General Joseph Dunford told lawmakers on Thursday as they weighed his nomination to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford also added his voice to those Pentagon officials who have supported providing lethal arms to Ukraine to help it defend itself from Russia-backed separatists, a step that President Barack Obama has so far resisted. "My assessment today, Senator, is that Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security," said Dunford, the Marine Corps commandant, who is expected to swiftly win Senate confirmation to become the top U.S. military officer.

    Love him, hate him, or feel ambivalent toward him, Mitt Romney was "right about everything," and that is standing him in good stead with the GOP.  Indeed, Politico is reporting that Romney is "working to rid the GOP presidential primary of the mayhem that marked his own race":
    Mitt Romney is working with an unlikely collaborator — Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who bankrolled Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign — in the hopes of ensuring that the GOP primary produces a mainstream conservative without any of the mayhem that marked his own race. The two, who speak monthly, aim to convince the wealthy contributors bankrolling various candidates to work together to avoid the kind of primary election chaos that Romney believes laid the seeds for his defeat in 2012. The former Massachusetts governor is also considering endorsing a candidate to achieve his goal. They’re unmistakable signs of Romney’s newly assertive role in the Republican Party but also of his determination to guarantee the GOP an unbloodied nominee with broad-based appeal.

    Each day brings a new reason to be happy about Harry Reid's impending retirement. The newest one is his outright admission that he used his position as senate leader to dishonestly smear Mitt Romney in the run-up to the 2012 election. Even the reliably liberal Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post is disgusted:
    Harry Reid’s appalling defense of his attack on Mitt Romney’s tax record One of the more outlandish moments of the 2012 campaign came when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the floor of the world's greatest deliberative body and accused GOP nominee Mitt Romney of not paying any taxes at all for the past 10 years. Reid's evidence? Someone had told him. (That "someone" is alleged to be Jon Huntsman, father of the former Utah governor. Huntsman denies involvement.)... And yet, the clip above shows Reid, in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, not only refusing to apologize for the claim but defending it — in a very weird way.

    Now that Romney has released a statement to his supporters announcing that he won't be running in 2016, the next question is, to whom will he throw his support and his proven ability to raise money? Many conservatives have long excoriated Romney for not being conservative enough---or not being conservative at all. But I've long thought that his instincts were actually more conservative than he allowed himself to be while the governor of the deep blue state of Massachusetts (although I agree that he's certainly not as conservative as someone like Ted Cruz.) But those wondering about Romney's present intentions might want to pay particular attention to this part of his message:
    I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case. I feel that it is critical that America elect a conservative leader to become our next president. You know that I have wanted to be that president. But I do not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming that president. You can’t imagine how hard it is for Ann and me to step aside, especially knowing of your support and the support of so many people across the country. But we believe it is for the best of the Party and the nation... I believe a Republican winning back the White House is essential for our country, and I will do whatever I can to make that happen...
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