Sen. Mitt Romney, R-U.T., is being hailed as a hero by the left for breaking ranks with his fellow Republicans and voting to convict President Donald Trump in the recent impeachment trial.
But while he’s collecting all those pats on the back, he might want to watch out for some knives.
These sudden Romney fans haven’t exactly been kind to him in the past — and the history points out the embarrassing hypocrisy of the political forces aligned against Trump’s administration.
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“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,” Romney said in explaining his vote with a speech that also touched on his faith and the importance of an oath. “Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”
The left stood up and cheered.
David Axelrod – who served as a top adviser to President Barack Obama – tweeted effusive praise, including this gem:
Half a century ago, @MittRomney’s dad George earned a reputation as a courageous apostate, taking on his own party over civil rights and extremism. He would be proud of his son today.
(via POLITICO for iOS) https://t.co/wbs19wLWGq
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) February 5, 2020
But if Axelrod ever had anything nice to say about Romney or his dad, he seems to have held it in during the bitter 2012 election campaign.
He even dropped a Nazi comparison, calling the Romney campaign’s 2012 ad buy in Michigan a “Mittzkrieg.”
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Julián Castro, who recently dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, thanked Romney:
The former Republican nominee for president will vote to convict and remove Donald Trump from office—calling his actions, “an appalling abuse of public trust” and “A flagrant assault” on our elections.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) February 5, 2020
In 2012, he delivered the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention – and it was an indictment of Romney.
“Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it,” he declared.
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The New York Times editorial board praised Romney as the lone example of a Republican committed to good governance.
“Just eight years ago, Mr. Romney was the Republican nominee for president; today, his vote will cast him as a pariah,” they wrote.
But in 2012, the same newspaper slammed him for “advocating extremism to raise money” and dismissed the notion that he could be a bipartisan and a moderate as a “myth.”
In a searing column, the paper also called Romney out for altering his positions out of political convenience.
“A campaign should demonstrate seriousness of purpose and a set of core beliefs, and it should signal to voters whether a candidate shows trustworthiness and judgment,” they wrote. “Those things don’t seem to matter to Mitt Romney.”
Over at The Washington Post, Philip Rucker tweeted with great gravity that Romney has secured his place in history.
Back in 2012, he joined in the dog-piling as the media hit Romney over the tale of a long-ago family vacation in which he managed to bring the dog along by strapping its carrier to the roof.
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“It has come to characterize the candidate,” he wrote in a story that failed to note that the main reason it characterized the candidate is the constant stories such as that one.
Rachel Maddow, who accused Romney of “obvious dog-whistle racism” over a 2012 campaign ad about welfare reform, played Romney’s entire speech on her show.
But at least one person is calling the left out for its sudden and convenient love affair with Romney.
Scott Jennings, former advisor to President George W. Bush and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, D-Ky., published a column with the headline “Sorry, liberals, you can’t claim Mitt now when you hated him then.”
Jennings noted that Romney is pro-life and against gay marriage – and wondered what the left would think if he gave the exact same stirring speech about his faith… only for one of those issues instead.
“Still on the Mitt bandwagon, liberals?” he asked.
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“I didn’t think so.”
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a longtime journalist for The Horn News.