“Donald Trump will not be the nominee,” Mitt Romney has said of the 2016 front-runner.
Mitt Romney’s declaration of a lack of faith in Trump is not just a put-down — some would call it a betrayal. The Kansas City Star reminds us that Trump endorsed Romney in 2012 and contributed to his campaign.
Romney reportedly disapproves of Trump’s tough policy on immigration. Trump’s hardline stance on asylum seekers is punctuated by colorful speculation that verges at times on conspiracy theory, as the New Yorker has reported.
“Declining to cite a source, [Trump] said, ‘I hear we want to take in two hundred thousand Syrians.’ These refugees would have ‘no identification.’ They could be anyone. ‘They could be ISIS, I don’t know’—Islamic State terrorists.”
Trump went on to speculate that the waves of immigrants (who he believes could very well be members or affiliates of terrorist group ISIS) may be part of a military strategy on the part of a foreign entity. The New Yorker reports,
“The extremely stringent vetting of asylum-seekers by the United States, which includes background checks and interviews, seemed to be something Trump hadn’t heard about. ‘Military tactics are very interesting,’ he said. ‘This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time. A two-hundred-thousand-man army, maybe. Or if they sent fifty thousand, or eighty thousand, or a hundred thousand, we got problems, and that could be possible. I don’t know that it is, but it could be possible, so they’re going back. They’re going back.'”
Trump did not cite any sources or refine this speculation, or even declare which part of the world (Syria? Iran?) he believes these ISIS-affiliated immigrants may be coming from, prompting reporter William Finnegan of the liberal New Yorker to note,
“Details are not Trump’s thing. In fact, Trump has been going out of his way to denigrate the very idea of foreign-policy expertise. Last week, he told CNN that he knows more about Syria than does Senator Marco Rubio, who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. ‘Look, Marco Rubio sits behind a desk sometimes, and he reads stuff, and he’s in committees. That’s all he does.'”
Mitt Romney calls Trump’s position “absurd.” “I will support the Republican nominee. I don’t think that’s going to be Donald Trump,” Romney said at the Atlantic‘s Washington Ideas Forum, as reported by Politico.
“My party has historically nominated someone who’s a mainstream conservative…I thought [Trump’s comment about ISIS] was both absurd and dangerous, and I just don’t think that kind of proposal is likely to lead him to become our nominee.”
Social media reactions to the Mitt Romney weigh-in on Donald Trump have run the gamut from nostalgic (and pro-Romney):
3 years ago today, Barack Obama lost the election to Mitt Romney after the first debate. #NeverForget
— BWD (@theonlyadult) October 3, 2015
To gently chastising:
Dear @MittRomney, I volunteered my time➰ donated my money to your campaign. Please, I beg of you, remain a gentleman. Remember, you lost.
— CONSERVATIVE❤ (@ChristiChat) September 30, 2015
To ecstatically supportive:
Mitt Romney would have been an incredible President. https://t.co/B2GU4o5pkJ
— Crystal Clanton (@crystal_clanton) September 24, 2015
Some commenters questioned Mitt Romney’s own judgement on foreign affairs issues:
— The Intercept (@the_intercept) October 2, 2015
Others swiped at Romney’s Mormon beliefs:
Mitt Romney for apostle
— Things Mormons Like (@TheMormonLikes) October 3, 2015
Just confirmed, Mitt Romney was runner up for apostle. #ldsconf
— Jamesthemormon (@jamesthemormon) October 3, 2015
Trump himself declared of two-time presidential loser Romney, “he choked!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2015
Are you Team Mitt or Team Trump? Would you vote for either of them? Tell us in the comments.
[ Images by Win McNamee; George Frey/Getty Images]