If they ever name a street after Willard Mitt Romney, it’ll have to be one way.
If you experienced a faint sense of deja vu this week watching Romney stab a former ally in the back, you were not alone. It’s a recurring theme in Mittens’ political career, betraying people who have helped him. Which is why you’ve never heard anyone describe himself as a “Romney Republican.” On Mittens’ gravestone, they could inscribe the words, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
As he said in 1998, “I like Joe Malone but …”
As he said in 2002, “I like Jim Rappaport but …”
Too bad he didn’t like Barack Obama in 2012. He might be president today.
Let’s go back to Romney’s first race, in 1994. He was running for Senate against Ted Kennedy. When the going got rough in that fight, he panicked and went into the fetal position — another recurring theme in his career. But before Mitt won the GOP nod, he was running against one John Lakian, now better known by his Bureau of Prisons number, 85674-053.
The GOP governor and lieutenant governor refused to endorse Romney. So the Republican state treasurer, Joe Malone, stepped up and did the right thing. Mitt would have won the primary anyway, but Malone went out on a limb for him.
Four years later, Joe Malone was running for governor against Paul Cellucci, the guy who had taken a walk when Romney was in a brawl. Joe called his old pal, Mitt.
“Mitt told me, ‘It’s not a question of if, it’s when I endorse you,’ ” Malone recalled last week. “So I kept calling him and calling him, and finally he comes over to my office and says, ‘Joe, you really should step aside.’ ”
Et tu, Mitte? Benedict Arnold’s got nothing on Willard.
Three years later, Mitt was out in Utah running the Winter Olympics. Back here, Jim Rappaport wanted to run for lieutenant governor. He called Mitt. Mitt said, “I’ll have my wife Ann send you $500, and that’ll show everybody that you’re basically my escrow agent in Boston, and you can grease the skids for me.”
Mitt returned home to semi-universal acclimation after a poll showed him 63 points ahead of incumbent Gov. Jane Swift. Swift quit the race, and Rappaport figured he was in as LG, but Mitt had other plans.
“Let’s be blunt,” Mitt said of the electorate. “They don’t want two rich, white guys.”
Ah yes, yet another Mitt M.O. There’s only room for one rich, white guy here!
Mittens always plays the Dudley Do-Right role, even as he sucker-punches his old pals. To Malone he “voices concerns.” When Rappaport refused to step aside, Romney said he should be “ashamed,” because he’s “gone too far.”
Now, Mittens claims he trashes Trump only because “I’m someone who cares very deeply … I just couldn’t sit back and say nothing.”
Not after all the camera crews and satellite trucks he’d begged to cover his speech had arrived, he couldn’t.
Four years ago, accepting Trump’s endorsement, Mitt described The Donald as a better businessman than him, with “extraordinary ability.” Now, Trump is a “fraud” and a “phony.”
“Dishonesty is Trump’s hallmark,” said Mitt. Pot, meet kettle.
And the grandees of the Republicans In Name Only (RINO) faction wonder why mobs with pitchforks and torches have assembled outside their well-appointed private clubs. The head RINO now in Massachusetts is a rich, white guy named Charlie Baker. Gov. Baker, too, despises Trump, of course.
On Friday, Gov. Baker lunched in East Boston with his hack Democrat pals. They picked a fine spot on Saratoga Street named Rino’s Place. You can’t make this stuff up.
Too bad Mitt was so busy tut-tutting to Matt Lauer and Neil Cavuto about how dreadful all these unwashed Republicans in their pickup trucks are.
He would have been right at home at Rino’s. I’ll bet Rino’s would have whipped up Mittens’ favorite RINO dish for him — Eggs Benedict.
Listen to Howie every weekday 3-7 p.m. on WRKO AM 680.
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