Skip to comments.Was Mitt Romney Right About Everything? From Russia to Detroit, his fans say they’ve been vindicated
Posted on 09/05/2013 9:40:20 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Ten months after Mitt Romney shuffled off the national stage in defeat consigned, many predicted, to a fate of instant irrelevance and permanent obscurity Republicans are suddenly celebrating the presidential also-ran as a political prophet.
From his widely mocked warnings about a hostile Russia to his adamant opposition to the increasingly unpopular implementation of Obamacare, the ex-candidates canon of campaign rhetoric now offers cause for vindication and remorse to Romneys friends, supporters, and former advisers.
I think about the campaign every single day, and what a shame it is who we have in the White House, said Spencer Zwick, who worked as Romneys finance director and is a close friend to his family. I look at things happening and I say, you know what? Mitt was actually right when he talked about Russia, and he was actually right when he talked about how hard it was going to be to implement Obamacare, and he was actually right when he talked about the economy. I think there are a lot of everyday Americans who are now feeling the effects of what [Romney] said was going to happen, unfortunately.
Of course, there is a long tradition in American politics of dwelling on counterfactuals and and re-litigating past campaigns after your candidate loses. Democrats have argued through the years that America would have avoided two costly Middle East wars, solved climate change, and steered clear of the housing crisis if only the Supreme Court hadnt robbed Al Gore of his rightful victory in 2000. But a series of White House controversies and international crises this year including a Syrian civil war that is threatening to pull the American military into the mix has caused Romneys fans to erupt into a chorus of told-you-sos at record pace.
In the most actively cited example of the Republican nominees foresight, Romneyites point to the candidates hardline rhetoric last year against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration. During the campaign, Romney frequently criticized Obama for foolishly attempting to make common cause with the Kremlin, and repeatedly referred to Russia as our number one geopolitical foe.
Many observers found this fixation strange, and Democrats tried to turn it into a punchline. A New York Times editorial in March of last year said Romneys assertions regarding Russia represented either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. And in an October debate, Obama sarcastically mocked his opponents Russia rhetoric. The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold Wars been over for 20 years, the president quipped at the time.
That line still chafes Robert OBrien, a Los Angeles lawyer and friend of Romneys who served as a foreign policy adviser.
Everyone thought, Oh my goodness that is so clever and Mitts caught in the Cold War and doesnt know what hes talking about, OBrien said. Well guess what. With all of these foreign policy initiatives Syria, Iran, [Edward] Snowden whos out there causing problems for America? Its Putin and the Russians.
Indeed, earlier this summer, Moscow defiantly refused to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to the United States, prompting Obama to cancel a meeting he had scheduled with Putin during the Group of 20 summit. Russia has blocked United Nations action against Syria. And on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told lawmakers that Russia was one of the countries supplying Syria with chemical weapons.
To Romneys fans, these episodes illustrate just how unfairly their candidate was punished during the election for speaking truths the rest of the country would eventually come around to.
The governor tried to enunciate how to deal with these very hard, tough issues, and we were met with slogans, OBrian lamented. And now the real world is exposing the slogans as being totally trite.
Admirers point to other examples of Romneys unrewarded wisdom, as well.
During a foreign policy debate in October, the candidate briefly expressed concern over Islamic extremists taking control of northern Mali an obscure reference that was mocked on Twitter at the time, including by liberal comedian Bill Maher. Three months later, France sent troops into the country at the behest of the Malian president, bringing the conflict to front pages around the world.
On the domestic front, Obamacare which Romney spent more time railing against on the stump than perhaps any other progressive policy is less popular than ever, while the federal government struggles to get the massive, complicated law implemented. (One poll in July found for the first time that a plurality of Americans now support the laws repeal.)
And while the unemployment rate has, in the first year of Obamas second term, gradually fallen to post-crisis lows, the still-ailing U.S. economy, which served as the centerpiece for Romneys unsuccessful case against Obamas reelection, was given a potent symbol earlier this summer when Detroit became the largest American city ever to declare bankruptcy.
The Motor City became a symbolic battleground during the election, with Romney proudly touting his fathers ties to the auto industry, and the Obama campaign relentlessly attacking the Republican for a Times op-ed he had written years earlier headlined Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.
The president took the title of that op-ed, which of course was written by editors of the New York Times, and used it to say Gov. Romney was being insensitive about his own home city, complained former campaign spokesman Ryan Williams. Romneys article argued that beleaguered automakers should consider going through a managed bankruptcy instead of taking a bailout but, Williams said, the presidents campaign intentionally tried to blur the lines. It worked. And several months later, the city is going bankrupt because of liberal democratic officeholders.
Referring to the bankruptcy, Putins posturing, and the Mali conflict, Williams added, Obviously, it would have been nice if any of these incidents would have occurred during the campaign to vindicate Romney. You would never want to see the bankruptcy of a major U.S. city, or the president embarrass himself on the world stage like he has, but Gov. Romney did discuss these potential outcomes.
Romneyites are processing these feelings of vindication in different ways. The campaigns chief strategist, Stuart Stevens, said he has been disappointed to see their central message that Obama would be unable to restore Americas strength turned out to be so accurate: If there is a part of the world in which America is stronger, its hard to find. Whats the president doing? Attacking a talk radio host. He has criticized Rush Limbaugh with more conviction than the leaders of Iran We can only hope it improves.
And Jennifer Rubin, the conservative Washington Post blogger who became Romneys most outspoken advocate in the press, accused members of the news media of failing to take the Republicans arguments seriously, while allowing the incumbent skate through the race untouched.
As for the media, they are the least self-reflective people I know, Rubin said. The left-leaning media has carried the presidents water faithfully, eschewing the least bit of critical analysis. Now they dont like the result?
For Zwick, perhaps the closest thing to a true Romney loyalist on the campaign last year, the belief that his candidate turned out to be right offers little comfort. Its frustrating because theres no way to correct it, Zwick said. We dont do what they do in the U.K. and lead the opposition party when you lose. When you lose there is no way to sort of be vindicated. Theres no way to say, OK, well, I didnt win the presidency but Im going to continue to fight. Theres no fighting. Theres no platform to do that. Fifty million Americans voted for the guy and yet its all for nothing.
I wish hed run again, Zwick added. Hes not going to. But if he did, Id be right there.
THE ENTIRE GOP opposition and EXPECIALLY the TEA party was right...
(not you S&F)
He had fans?
I rest my case.
I don’t take away from the fact he spoke lots of truth.
Problem was he was not the candidate we needed at that time.
As Hillary famously said, "What difference does it make!!!!!"
Obama ONLY became pRes_ _ent because of Romney’s vicious
Then, too, RomneyCARE/ObamaCARE and gay marriage both
were created from Romney and his pen.
Not sure how many ‘fans’ Romney had, but he was unquestionably the better option last year. Of course he was right on Russia, health care and most things. He even did a decent job telling us. It looks near impossible to get through the noise of the media and left these days, as they have their guy’s back 24/7, and will destroy anything in the way. Yes, their campaign could have been much better, but when the left can get their turnout in that environment, it’s tough to win.
Sorry, a sodomy worshiper is not the candidate we EVER need.
You've gotta be kidding.....
Sorry, he is on my shit list.
He supported putting gays in the boy scouts.
Romney was a lifelong abortionist who claimed abortion should be safe and legal in America. Claimed he’d be better for gay right than Ted Kennedy and proved it. Massachusetts got gay marriage on his watch. Loved big government mandates, forced RomneyCare (predecessor to ObamaCare) on his state. Appointed liberals, refused to fight for conservatives. He was a liberal. Then he decided to run for the presidency and he shifted positions on EVERY issue. No credibility whatsoever. A big loser. NO THANKS!! RINO GO HOME!!
Not only that, Romeny was the candidate that 70% of the GOP themselves didn’t want...
As the loser who lost to the loser who lost to Obama the first time, why did they force him on us?
Its not like it helped them at all- unless the GOP is totally infiltrated by democraps.
AND With the media changing his first name to “Frontrunner” it didn’t help at all...
Whatever Romney might have been right about, Russia isn’t part of it.
Russia by all rights should be a natural ally.
Remorse? I don’t detect any remorse among those who opposed Romney — especially among Republicans and conservatives who stayed home. You read the contempt here on FR every day.
Personally, I would LOVE to have Mitt and Ann in the WH right now.
He ran the most politically tone deaf campaign ever.
Note to Romney fans: don’t admit you are a fan, it makes you look bad.
IMO, Bush should also be vindicated at some point. The WMD’s is Syria’s stockpile probably contain some of Saddam’s WMD’s.