- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Donald Trump sent out a tweet of praise for former Massachusetts governor and failed presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, endorsing his one-time White House rival for the Senate in Utah.

Have to say — this is lot classier than how Romney treated Trump. GOP, pay attention. There’s much to be learned from this president.

This is what Trumpwrote: “@MittRomney has announced he is running for the Senate from the wonderful State of Utah. He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!”

Romney was quick to latch on to the endorsement and run with it on his own Twitter page.

“Thank you Mr. President for the support,” he tweeted. “I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah.”

What a switch in tone.

Remember this Mitt? The one from March 2016 that called Trump a “phony” who was only “playing the American public for suckers?”

That was the warm-up.

He also said, as CNN noted: “Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing members of the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”

And this: “Dishonesty is Donald Trump’s hallmark.”

And this: “[Trump‘s] bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics,” make him unfit for office.

And this, about Trump’s blunt “60 Minutes” interview on Syria and ISIS: “[That] has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the campaign season. Let ISIS take out Assad, he said, and then we can pick up the remnants. Think about that: Let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over a country? This is recklessness in the extreme.”

Fast-forward to 2018 and it’s not as if Romney has switched to the Go Trump team.

Mitt Romney launches Senate bid with veiled swipe at Trump,” Financial Times wrote in a headline, a few days ago.

What exactly was the swipe?

“Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world,” Romney said, in a video announcing his Senate run. “Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion.”

That puts him squarely in conflict with this White House’s core political platform — to crack down on borders and illegal border crossers.

Yet Trump — the guy Romney and his ilk called a circus act on the campaign trail, the guy Romney and his ilk spent months and months secretly and not-so-secretly trying to undercut and even overthrow — has nonetheless, with grace, welcomed his former rival into the GOP fold.

The Republican Party, busy as it’s been tearing down Trump, MAGA supporters and perceived “deplorables” that have upset the status quo of the establishment-minded in the GOP, could learn a thing or two from Trump on this. Lesson Number One?

It’s an oldie but goodie, one spoken of with fair frequency by Ronald Reagan. And it goes like this: Thou shall not tear down fellow Republicans in public.

And on that count, it’s Trump, not Romney, who’s proven a real leader.

Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.


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