Romney’s attacks on Trump were hypocritical

If ever there was an example of a pot calling the kettle black, Mitt Romney gave it to us earlier this month when he launched into an all-out verbal assault on Donald Trump. Speaking before the Hinkley Institute in Salt Lake City on March 3, the former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee attacked Trump for a host of character flaws, calling the New York billionaire a “phony and a fraud,” among other things.

So why the speech? And why now?

The reason is that Romney and the GOP establishment have become increasingly concerned that a Trump nomination would fracture the Party, and hand the White House right back to the Democrats. I understand their motive, and perhaps it was inevitable that someone from the Republican Party would step forward to expose “The Donald”. Unfortunately, “Mitt the Hypocrite” wasn’t the right man for that job. Here are a few reasons why.

ENDORSEMENT During his Salt Lake speech, Romney said, “If Donald Trump is our nominee, the prospect for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.” Mitt then asked the audience a rhetorical question, “But isn’t Trump a huge business success? Doesn’t he know what he’s talking about? No he isn’t, and no he doesn’t. A business genius he isn’t.” The problem with those statements is that when running for President four years ago, Romney sought and received a ringing endorsement from Trump, and Mitt, in turn, showered high praise on Donald, saying, “Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works to create jobs for the American people.” Oops! Who’s the phony now?

SUCKERS Another hypocritical statement Romney made is when he said Trump is “playing the American public for suckers.” Again, let’s go back and look at Romney’s own campaign for the Presidency. When appearing in public, Mitt pandered to all demographics, but when secretly recorded at a September 2012 address to white, big money donors, Romney railed against disenfranchised people, using racist code language. Said Mitt, “There are 47% who are with him (Obama), who are dependent upon government, … who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing…they will vote for the President no matter what.” And as if that bigoted statement wasn’t bad enough, Mitt the misogynist also played women voters for suckers. During one of his debates with President Obama, Romney tried to show how enlightened he was about women in the workplace. He said that as Governor he sought females for his Cabinet, so he sent his staff out to put together a “binder full of women.” The message was clear. Mitt didn’t actually know any qualified women. None. By the way, according to a story by Laura Bassett of the Huffington Post, 42 percent of Mitt’s initial gubernatorial appointments were women, but by his second year in office, the number of women in those high level jobs fell to 27 percent. I guess he misplaced his binder.

BANKRUPTCIES Earlier this month, Mitt took great pleasure in poking fun at some of Trump’s business ventures that had been forced to declare bankruptcy. He also said that Donald’s most recognizable personal quality is “greed.” In other words, Trump is just out to make money and doesn’t care who he steps on, or hurts along the way. Hey Mitt, look in a mirror, buddy. If ever there was a greedy job destroyer it is Mitt Romney. As head of Bain Capital, Romney constantly profited from the misfortune of others, making hundreds of millions of dollars by orchestrating leveraged buy-outs that resulted in plant closings and lay offs.

Kay Bee Toys is a prime example of Romney’s greed. Prior to being bought by Bain, Kay Bee was the nation’s second largest toy store valued at $305 million dollars. Romney and Bain put up just $18 million in cash, and borrowed the rest against Kay Bee’s assets. Romney the vulture capitalist then restructured Kay Bee and paid himself and his Bain buddies a staggering $85 million in dividends. Kay Bee soon went bankrupt and had to close 460 stores. Thousands of people lost their jobs, but Bain walked away with a 372% return on investment. And Mitt calls Trump greedy?

BULLYING Romney characterized Trump as a “bully,” and he’s right. Donald has run off at the mouth and said some insensitive things about women, Hispanics, and the disabled. No one is defending that kind of behavior. But as far as we know, Trump has never physically bullied anyone. The same cannot be said for Mitt the hypocrite. When he was 18, Mitt and a gang of his private school buddies terrorized a gay youth who had long hair. “He can’t look like that,” Mitt said to his homophobic friends. He then led the gang of five in a cruel assault on the student. They held the young man down against his will, and while he screamed for help, Romney cut off the man’s hair. To date, all of the attackers but Mitt have come forward to confess and apologize. Romney’s only comment? He apologized for “pranks he helped orchestrate that might have gone too far.”

I don’t support Donald Trump, nor do I condone his malicious bluster. But if you want to expose a political figure with character flaws, look no further than the racist, homophobic, misogynist, bully Mitt Romney. !

JIM LONGWORTH is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).