- - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Former Massachusetts Gov . Mitt Romney’s recent statement that there is good reason to believe there’s a “bombshell” in Donald Trump’s unreleased tax returns just sounds like sour grapes (“Mitt Romney hints at possible ‘bombshell’ in Donald Trump’s taxes,” Web, Feb. 25). Why would Mr. Romney, a committed Mormon, try to take down the likely Republican nominee through innuendo? Is it because he hates Mr. Trump and supports challengers Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz?

Mr. Romney’s brutal attack sounds less like an honest search for the truth than an attempt to assuage a bruised ego from a 2012 loss. In that race, the media excoriated the multi-millionaire because his tax rate seemed lower than that of the average American. President Obama and the Democrats blasted Mr. Romney for being an out-of-touch corporate raider, an accusation that ultimately lead to Mr. Romney’s demise.

Mr. Romney started the Republican stand-off the day before the Feb. 25 Houston Republican debate. Mr. Trump punched back by calling Mr. Rubio a “choke artist” and Mr. Cruz a “liar.” The last debate before Super Tuesday was a political food fight fit for a king, giving the Republican Party a pie in the face.

From infighting to “Mean Girls”-style pranks, the vicious assaults are embarrassing to all Americans. Trash talk about make-up, sweat glands, big ears, spray tans and con artists sound more like the stuff of junior-high bullying than a political race. Unfortunately Republicans, like the Chicago Cubs, know how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. And here I thought only animals eat their own.

DAVID FANNING

East Peoria, Ill.

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