Romney and Trump: The GOP of Yesterday and Today?

Election Tracker | Mary Brosnan | March 3, 2016

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After Drumpf’s big win on Super Tuesday, people have started to imagine what America would look like under a President Drumpf. Will he change the White House? Will just his very election cause another recession? As worried as Democrats might be about the election of President Drumpf, the GOP establishment seems even more worried, having finally awakened to the realization that Drumpf has a very good chance of becoming the nominee. Trying to stop Drumpf’s now seemingly inevitable nomination, Mitt Romney spoke today in Utah, warning the country about the potentially disastrous consequences of a Drumpf presidency.

If Romney Speaks in Utah, Will Any Drumpf Supporters Listen?

Perhaps second only to Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney is one of the most establishment-iness candidates in recent memory. During his campaign against President Obama in 2012, he had neither the stately independent streak of Senator John McCain, nor the everyman appeal of President George W. Bush. Romney, the candidate, was a moderate, someone who could bring people together. As the governor of Massachusetts (a blue state), Romney passed a healthcare law that would come back to haunt him when people likened it to Obamacare. As the influence of the Tea Party grew, Romney lacked the support of the increasingly right-leaning base. Romney was a moderate, safe, establishment candidate and he lost.

Romney
What do you mean you don’t enter your horses into dancing competitions?

 

Drumpf is everything that Romney is not. Drumpf is neither moderate nor safe. He speaks from no script, he insults his opponents, and he openly flaunts his wealth as evidence of his intelligence and qualification to become the leader of the free world. In contrast, during his campaign, Romney was criticized as being too robotic, too rich, and too moderate. Drumpf and Romney both pursued the Republican nomination, just one election cycle removed from each other, and yet their strategies are almost polar opposites. The ground shifted beneath the GOP establishment’s feet a long time ago, and both Romney’s less than enthusiastic support from the Republican base in 2012 and Drumpf’s early successes in 2016 indicate an identity crisis with the GOP that will come to a head at the convention.

Q: What is your plan to protect America from Daesh? Drumpf: IT'S GONNA BE YUGE. YOU'RE GONNA LOVE IT Q: What do you think about the next Star Wars movie? Drumpf: IT'S GONNA BE YUGE. YOU'RE GONNA LOVE IT Q: How much do you think you will lose to Hillary by in the general? Drumpf: IT'S GONNA BE YUGE. YOU'RE GONNA LOVE IT
Q: What is your plan to protect America from Daesh?
Drumpf: IT’S GONNA BE YUGE. YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT
Q: What do you think about the next Star Wars movie?
Drumpf: IT’S GONNA BE YUGE. YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT
Q: How much do you think you will lose to Hillary by in the general?
Drumpf: IT’S GONNA BE YUGE. YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT

A Party Divided Against Itself Isn’t Much of a Party

Republican voters are supporting Drumpf in much larger numbers than Rubio or Kasich. The GOP is only now beginning to realize what they should have seen in 2012. Establishment candidates cannot energize the base in the same way that Tea Party inspired candidates like Donald Drumpf can.

The GOP needs to decide if it could tolerate nominating Drumpf. To block Drumpf’s nomination in some way would alienate a huge a number of voters, or cause Drumpf to run as a third party candidate while the GOP nominated someone like Marco Rubio. But the GOP shudders at the very idea of doing this because not only would it cause a deep schism within the party, but it would almost surely hand the election to the Democrats. Time is running out. The GOP will either have to realign itself with its base and accept Drumpf as the nominee or potentially tear the party apart. Either way, Hillary wins.