Yesterday was Groundhog Day in the United States, and soon after Punxsutawny Phil gave the bad news that we’ve got six more weeks of winter, Mitt Romney received his own bad news: He’s been endorsed by Donald Trump.
In case you forgot – or wiped from your mind – Trump’s earlier escapades in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Evan McMorris-Santoro of Talking Points Memo rounds up the only things you need to know to decide what Trump’s endorsement means:
He’s As Much Of A Birther As He Ever Was
Not even the release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate has swayed Trump from his role as the most famous face on the movement that claims the occupant of the White House is a foreign-born fraud.
He Pushed Another Racist Anti-Obama Conspiracy Theory In December
Since the current indications are that this endorsement is heading Mitt Romney’s way, that could mean the former Massachusetts governor will wind up standing next to a man who recently accused Obama of ignoring Christmas in favor of Kwaanza.
The completely untrue right-wing meme was a favorite of the darker corners of the conservative movement. Standing with and/or accepting the endorsement from Trump opens up the prospect of having to distance himself from this kind of material down the road.
A Fox Poll Found He’s A Net Negative To Whomever He Endorses
In September, a Fox News Poll asked respondents if an endorsement from Trump would make them more or less likely to support a candidate. The results? Just six per cent said they would be more likely to vote for a Trump-backed candidate, while 31 per cent said they would be less likely. The rest said it would make no difference at all.
And yet stand with Trump Romney did, telling reporters:
“There are some things that you just can’t imagine happening in your life – this is one of them. Being in Donald Trump’s magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight.”
Romney’s hope will be that Trump will give him sorely needed right-wing credentials, necessary to both win some votes back from Newt Gingrich in future primaries, and energise a base which he will need to turn out in full force come November. The risk is that Trump will alienate the very independents that are Romney’s biggest weapon against Obama.
It’s a risk that might be worth taking were Trump a meek talking head - but when you take on a personality as large as his, there is always the risk that you lose control.
The Democrats’ response to the news was simply to repost the press release to their supporters with the words:
In case you missed it.
Obama has already made his feelings about Trump clear at the White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner last year:
De. Li. Cious!
• USA 2012: Mitt spends four times as much as Gingrich, gets 1.4 times the votes – Alex Hern, February 1st 2012
• The World Outside Westminster – Oh, Carolina – Tom Rouse, January 22nd 2012
• Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire: Press round-up – Alex Hern, January 11th 2012
• Iowa 2012: Meet the candidates – Chris Tarquini, January 3rd 2012
• USA 2012: The conspiracy aimed at nailing Palin – Alex Hern, December 14th 2011