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May 08 2012

Former Rivals Struggle to Endorse Romney

One of the truly amusing things about this year’s Republican primary is watching all of Romney’s former rivals endorse him and try to pretend that they really, truly support him despite the vitriolic attacks they made against him during the campaign. Newt, who bluntly called Romney a liar during the primary, can’t even bring himself to try to appear sincere:

Newt Gingrich accused Mitt Romney on Thursday of saying “things that weren’t true,”but fell short of reasserting his claim that Romney was a liar.

“I still believe that the Romney campaign said things that weren’t true,” said Gingrich on CNN’s “Situation Room.”

“Forget about the Mitt Romney campaign. Is Mitt Romney a liar?” pressed host Wolf Blitzer.

“The governor said things at times that weren’t true,” Gingrich elaborated.

Despite being pushed on the question by Blitzer, Gingrich just shrugged and declined to say the word “liar.”

Back in January, Gingrich had no qualms about making the accusation. “You’re calling Mitt Romney a liar?” asked correspondent Norah O’Donnell then.

“Well, you seemed shocked by it. Yes,” Gingrich responded.

On Thursday, Gingrich tried to put on a less confrontational — if still slightly bitter — attitude towards the presumptive Republican nominee. He said he would “trust Mitt Romney a thousand times over” compared to President Barack Obama, and would even campaign for the former Massachusetts governor.

Michele Bachmann, who declared during the primary that Romney can’t possibly beat Obama in the general election, has also jumped ever so reluctantly on the bandwagon:

Thursday also marked the debut of Bachmann as a Romney surrogate. The Minnesota congresswoman supported Romney despite the fact, as Democrats pointed out, that she once said that Romney has “no chance” to defeat Obama.
After calling Romney “the only option” in a statement released by her congressional campaign, Bachmann offered a full-throated endorsement here.

“I am honored to be able to be here to introduce not only Gov. Bob McDonnell, the fabulous governor of the state of Virginia, but also to lend my voice and my endorsement to Mitt Romney as our president and take the country back,” Bachmann said. “I think for all of America, this is a very simple proposition this November: President Barack Obama, President Mitt Romney. You decide. Very easy.”

Reminds me a lot of a gun-to-the-head confession. To some extent, this always happens during elections; former rivals unite to defeat the other party’s candidate and sometimes that makes for awkward moments — strange bedfellows and all that. But I can’t ever remember it being quite this stark before. In a year when a large segment of Republican voters clearly wanted anyone but Romney to get the nomination, his rivals mounted incredible attacks on him to win over those voters. And now they have to put on a fake smile and pretend that they really, truly support him.

But over and over again, we hear the same refrain: the best thing they can find to say about him, the only thing they can find to say about him, is that he’d be better than Obama. And that’s also pretty much the only thing that Democrats can say in defense of President Obama, that he’s better than Romney. But I confess to still being greatly amused at the Republican spectacle.

14 comments

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  1. 1
    The Lorax

    I would be amused, but it’s like knowing how a story is going to end before you even start reading. The amusement was had by me months ago, and now, it’s just confirmation of predictions.

    GOP who loathed Romney now begrudgingly support him so the GOP can re-assume power – tick.

  2. 2
    Reginald Selkirk

    Newt, who bluntly called Romney a liar during the primary

    Perhaps he meant it as a compliment; the Newtster is quite proficient at lying himself.

  3. 3
    Doug Little

    The words of Shep Smith will always echo in my head when it comes to this.

    Politics is weird and creepy [and bears] only the loosest attachment to reality

    The expression on his face when he said them was priceless as well. Someone needs to do a similar thing with his expression as was done with the Dave Silverman are you serious face.

  4. 4
    Nick Gotts

    And that’s also pretty much the only thing that Democrats can say in defense of President Obama, that he’s better than Romney. But I confess to still being greatly amused at the Republican spectacle.

    The difference is, most prominent Democrats haven’t said anything nasty about Obama – or not for some years, anyway. I can envisage an Obama ad campaign that consists solely of his rivals in the primaries bad-mouthing him.

  5. 5
    Larry

    All those commercials made during the primaries by Newt, Mr. Frothy, et. al., should make for some wonderful ads for Obama.

  6. 6
    John Hinkle

    …the fabulous governor of the state of Virginia…

    She’s using a dog whistle for people with a certain sexual orientation. ZOMG! The governor of Virginia is gay!

  7. 7
    Doug Little

    All those commercials made during the primaries by Newt, Mr. Frothy, et. al., should make for some wonderful ads for Obama.

    They will just come back and say that we missed the fine print that said.

    * Not meant to be a factual statement, my fingers were crossed.

    Either that or they will just deny outright that they said such things, even thought they are on tape saying them.

    The memory hole/etch-a-sketch works in mysterious ways.

  8. 8
    d cwilson

    The best is how Santorum made his endorsement by email.

    Romney fever! Catch it now!

  9. 9
    tbp1

    As the saying goes, Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line.

    And I don’t think that the ONLY good thing you can say about Obama is that he would be better than Romney, but there aren’t a whole lot of them, either.

    I was not one those naive enough to think he was the second coming of FDR, but he has been a letdown in many, many way.

  10. 10
    jeremydiamond

    And that’s also pretty much the only thing that Democrats can say in defense of President Obama, that he’s better than Romney.

    Oh, come on. One can give Obama plenty of credit and defend his record pretty easily. I know that some people in this country are living in an alternate reality when I keep hearing this talking point: “Democrats can’t talk about Obama’s record because he has none.” Preposterous. He’s done plenty of good things.

    (Now, on the constitutional and civil liberties issues that you post about often? No defense. But that’s not what I’m talking about here and that’s not the national discussion we’re about to have.)

  11. 11
    democommie

    “Newt, who bluntly called Romney a liar during the primary, can’t even bring himself to try to appear sincere”

    Why would he start now? Look, Ed, Mittunswillard is, at most, going to help Newturd retire his campaign debt (without Newt’s having a chance to mark it up by 50 or 69%)–and you expect Newt to be grateful?

  12. 12
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Wait… wait. Not about Romney, but about McDonnell…

    What was she endorsing Governor Ultrasound for? He can’t be the governor next year (thank god) so what is she even talking about?

  13. 13
    Reginald Selkirk

    Off-topic: Michele Bachmann becomes a Swiss citizen
    And as every wingnut knows, you can’t be a foreign citizen and a U.S. citizen, so she may now be ineligible for public office.

  14. 14
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem
    …the fabulous governor of the state of Virginia…

    She’s using a dog whistle for people with a certain sexual orientation. ZOMG! The governor of Virginia is gay!

    She would know, wouldn’t she? Isn’t she married to a gay guy?

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