Mitt Romney, the man Republicans were so quick to dismiss after his failed 2012 presidential bid, is suddenly in high demand among his GOP colleagues. The former Massachusetts governor and his wife, Ann, dropped in for “a fun and informal” lunch Monday with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, at the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, following through on an invitation extended by the Bush family months ago.
The meeting followed an overnight sojourn this weekend by Chris Christie and Marco Rubio at the Romney’s vacation home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on the eve of their appearance in the town’s July Fourth parade. The two candidates and their families joined the Romneys on their boat on 72-square-mile Lake Winnipesaukee.
Since forgoing a third presidential bid in January, Romney has insisted he has no interest in being a kingmaker in the 2016 race. But as the contenders jockey for his favor — and, in some cases, chase his lead on thorny issues — it’s beginning to look like the 2016 Romney primary is well underway.
Why not? Everything worked out so well in 2012, right? Plus, this is a new, tougher Willard — a liberated Willard!
And he seems more liberated to speak out than when he was fighting for the White House himself. Romney was one of the first prominent Republicans to bluntly call for taking down the Confederate flag in front of the South Carolina state capitol after the racially motivated massacre of nine people at a Charleston church last month.
“On the Confederate flag issue, he wanted to be out early making a strong statement — saying this is the right thing to do, irregardless of the South Carolina primary,” GOP strategist Katie Packer said. “He sees an opportunity for himself to be the voice of reason in the chaos.”
“Irregardless” is not a word, but whatever…
Over the weekend, he denounced Donald Trump’s suggestion that immigrants coming across the border from Mexico were rapists and criminals, saying the remarks were harmful to the image of the Republican Party. “I think he made a severe error in saying what he did about Mexican-Americans and I feel it was unfortunate,” Romney said.
And Romney was “severely conservative,” remember?
Please get this man off the national stage.