A lot of people have been wondering about the extent to which Mitt Romney would tack back to the centre of the political spectrum in the highly, highly, highly unlikely event that he manages to defeat Barack Obama in November’s contest. And to be fair, Mitt Romney has certainly added fuel to the fire of such speculation by some of his statements, most recently his surprise revelation that everything he has said before about immediately balancing the budget was just a big joke, because he is actually a Keynesian at heart, and knows that to reduce federal spending by $1 trillion in year 1 would not be the most positive thing to do to a fragile economy.
But those people thinking (either worrying or hoping) that a Romney presidency would move to occupy the political centre ground need speculate no more. Because Mitt Romney has now proved beyond question that he is fully and totally beholden to the extreme right wing of the Republican Party, and would no sooner do anything to anger that bastion of support than he would chop off his own hand. How do we know this? Because Mitt Romney refused to distance himself from his most high profile campaign surrogate and supporter, Donald Trump, when he said this:
And then doubled down with this:
Romney, meanwhile, had only this to say when asked about his wayward campaign surrogate:
Mitt Romney said Monday he wasn’t concerned about Donald Trump’s commitment to the “birther” conspiracy, one day before the GOP presidential candidate hosts a fund-raiser alongside the celebrity business magnate.
Asked on his charter plane whether Trump’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace gave him pause, Romney simply said he was grateful for all his supporters.
“You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”
Even when his most high-profile supporter and key surrogate goes totally off the rails and revives his old birther conspiracies prompted by nothing at all, Mitt Romney is too afraid of angering his base to unequivocally disassociate himself from the remarks. Surely no one now harbours any remaining belief that Romney would tack back to the centre if he got elected. Tea Partiers, fear not – you may not like the guy and distrust the sincerity of his convictions, but it doesn’t matter – he’s scared of incurring your wrath, so you have him safely in the bag.
If, in some dystopian world, I had to choose between a President Romney and a President Trump, I think I am minded to go for President Trump. He may be batsh*t insane with an ego the size of one of his towers, but at least I would always know what he really thinks about something.