Mitt Romney: The Latest Republican To Skip GOP Convention — Who Else Isn’t Coming?

Mitt Romney, the winner of the GOP nomination in 2012, will not be attending this year’s convention, the Washington Post reported.

“Governor Romney has no plans to attend convention,” a Romney aide informed The Post.

Romney’s decision appears to be because Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee, which makes this “an unusual move that underscores the deep unease many Republican leaders have about the brash celebrity mogul as their standard bearer,” The Post reported.

The news of Romney’s decision to skip the Cleveland convention comes on the heels of 2008 GOP nominee John McCain’s similar announcement — although The Post pointed out that the Arizona senator has a tough re-election battle in Arizona.

“A border state with a large Latino population where Trump’s hard line position on immigration may prove polarizing.”

George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, the two last living former Republican presidents, are also not attending, as is former GOP candidate and Florida governor Jeb Bush. According to ABC News, the only living former Republican presidential nominee who will be attending the GOP convention in July is former senator Bob Dole, who is 93-years-old.

Other prominent Republicans who will not attend include New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte and North Carolina senator Richard Burr, both of whom are up for re-election in November.

Romney’s Non-Attendance: Not A Huge Surprise

Mitt Romney’s decision is not entirely surprising; on March 3, as Trump was just beginning to rack up early primary victories, the former Massachusetts governor gave a speech that railed against the former reality TV star.

“Let me put it plainly,” Romney told his audience, as transcribed by Politico. “If we choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.”

Romney went on to call Trump “a fraud” who “lacked the temperament to be president,” and whose “bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them.” He also highlighted Trump’s many business failures including Trump Airlines, Trump Steaks, and Trump University.

“His domestic policies would lead to recession,” Romney said. “His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe.”

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Trump’s likely Democratic opponent for the November election, used parts of Romney’s speech in an internet ad against Trump.

Romney went on to openly campaign for Ohio governor John Kasich in Ohio (which Kasich won) and for Texas senator Ted Cruz in other states.

Mitt Romney campaigning with John Kasich
Mitt Romney campaigning with John Kasich in Ohio. [Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images]
At the time, Trump responded by calling Romney “a lightweight,” and complained in a speech, “I backed Mitt Romney (in 2012). I backed him. And you can see how loyal he is. He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees,’ and he would have dropped to his knees.”

Last month, Trump told the Washington Post that he doubted whether Mitt Romney should even come to the Republican convention, saying, “I don’t know if I can bring Romney back.”

But later, Trump backed off from his statement about Romney.

“I don’t care,” he said. Romney “can be there if he wants.”

Trump also complained that Romney did not use a video he had made for the 2012 convention, that featured Trump sitting across the table from a Barack Obama look-alike, saying, “You’re fired,” which was his trademark statement from his reality TV show, The Apprentice.

“But [Romney’s campaign] never played it,” Trump said. “They thought it was too controversial. Stupid people. The cinematographer said it was one of the best things he ever did.”

What do you think? Is Mitt Romney making the right decision to not attend the Republican Convention?

[Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]

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