The Daily News wrote the following after former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney ripped Donald Trump and his ascendant bid for President in March 2016:
The chairman of the Los Angeles County Republican Party watched Mitt Romney’s verbal assault on Donald Trump Thursday morning and said the former Massachusetts governor was “slapping Republicans in the face” with his attack on the current GOP delegate leader, who is seeking the presidency.
Indeed. The lack of leadership from the national conference should disturb a lot of people across the country.
“His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader,” Romney declared during his speech at the University of Utah.
But, Mark Vafiades said Romney’s attack on Trump disappointed him deeply.
“Instead of advocating for who he feels is the best nominee, he is attacking another candidate,” Vafiades said. “Trump looks poised to win the nomination and anything Romney said can be used against him by the Democrats in the general election. That is not good.”
Romney, who lost the 2012 presidential election to President Barack Obama by garnering only 47 percent of the popular vote, spoke for about 20 minutes - ripping Trump for his tax plan, his trade stance, his demeanor and listed off several failed business ventures started by the real estate mogul.
|Mark Vafiades, RPLAC Chairman|
He called him “a phony” and “a fraud” and said Trump is “playing the members of the American public for suckers.”
“His imagination must not be married to real power,” Romney insisted.
He added that he would support the other Republican presidential candidates.
“Given the current delegate selection process, this means that I would vote for Marco Rubio in Florida, for John Kasich in Ohio and for Ted Cruz or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state,” Romney said.
But Vafiades said the speech could backfire by emboldening Trump supporters in key upcoming primary states to dig their heels in and support the billionaire with renewed fervor. Vafiades said Romney’s comments were “insulting” to the majority of Republicans who have been backing Trump.
Indeed, the speech did backfire. Lo and Behold, Donald Trump is our President today!
Later in the day, Trump spoke in Maine and addressed Romney’s critique by noting the former GOP presidential nominee was “begging” for his endorsement on his way to losing to Obama.
“He let us down,” Trump said, adding “Mitt is indeed a choke artist.”
Vafiades said Romney’s speech showed some in the Republican establishment were out of touch with the pulse of the party. The chairman said tearing apart other candidates only hurts the party and the individual making the attacks. He noted GOP challenger Marco Rubio was looking strong going into Super Tuesday, but then went on an all-out offensive against Trump and ended up only winning one state out of 13.
This issue of leadership as out of touch with the party --this is is YUGE problem in Los Angeles County.
At least Vafiades has been listening.
“No one wins an election by making the campaign just against someone else,” Vafiades said. “It almost seemed like Rubio was on a suicide mission.”
Vafiades also cautioned Romney and the GOP establishment saying they shouldn’t hope for a brokered Republican National Convention in Cleveland because that will destroy the party.
There was no brokered convention. There is no broken Republican Party. On the other hand, the Democratic Party is completely in a shambles.
“Donald Trump being nominated is not the end of the party,” Vafiades said. “I think it’s a myth that there will be a brokered convention. There would be a revolt if the establishment took away the will of the voters. If you nullify what the majority of the party wants, that would be the decimation of the Republican Party.”
Yes! Power belongs in the hands of We the People in our desire to form a more perfect union built on an enumeration of powers.
He also said the speech will hurt Romney’s legacy.
“I respected Romney, but I think this hurts his credibility,” Vafiades said.
Mark Vafiades stood by Trump.
He stuck to his guns about the Donald even in May, at an award function of the American Freedom Alliance.
I was a little skeptical, and locally elected officials offered their dismay about Trump, and were even angry with the Chairman for his stance.
But Trump pulled it off--and won!
True leadership--stand by your values, help your party, support your nominee.
Thank you, Chairman Vafiades!