A new documentary called “Mitt” airs an interesting perspective on Mitt Romney’s attitude during the 2012 election. The film apparently shows how pessimistic Romney was that he could win the general election, even after the abysmal debate performance of Barack Obama. The documentary shows a side of Mitt that most have not seen, and it offers new material for a discussion on how “rigged” the electoral process is in the United States.
The big quote that blogs are showcasing from the documentary “Mitt” which aired at the Sundance Film Festival, is seen towards then end of the film when Romney admits, “In some ways, we kind of had to steal the Republican nomination. Our party is Southern, evangelical and populist. And you’re Northern, and you’re Mormon, and you’re rich. And these do not match well with our party.”
The documentary will be available on Netflix later today, so I can not yet say whether this quote is taken out of context, or further explained in the movie. But many Ron Paul supporters are not surprised by the revelation. When I was outside the Republican National Convention in Tampa in 2012, Ron Paul supporters were already lining the streets, protesting the treatment of delegates who were excluded from the nominating convention, in apparent violation of contest rules. Some say that Paul had the delegates to win the nomination if proper procedures were followed, but that they were shut out and the entire nomination process was scripted, having already been decided.
At the time, I think everyone assumed the primary was “stolen” by Romney because he wanted to be president. But now, further speculation has been brought on by Mitt’s apparent defeatist attitude while running. Was Romney just a placeholder so that a real anti-establishment candidate could not challenge Obama? Were top Republicans complicit in handing the election to Obama by ensuring that a “Tea Party Candidate” could not win the nomination, and speak truth to power?
I did not think there was any such conspiracy, unless you count the media ignoring and marginalizing of Ron Paul as a conspiracy. I figured there were just a lot of voters who incorrectly thought nominating a “moderate” would be a better strategy to defeating Obama in the general election. Unfortunately these people are just victims of media bias. The media wanted everyone to think that Ron Paul was crazy and unelectable in order to get an actual unelectable wishy washy candidate into the election, therefore insuring Obama’s victory. But now there seems to be a compelling argument that Romney, or at least top Republicans in the party, had a bigger political enemy than Obama.
So why not infer that winning the 2012 national election was never the primary goal? Romney would have loved to do it, but it wasn’t why he was running. He was running to win the Republican Primary and, thus, ensure there was no Tea Party candidate running against Obama.
He was just a spoiler.
I guess the debate is still open. But Republicans should take note of the adage, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Let’s not make the same mistake 3 elections running, and nominate an unelectable moderate over a true conservative.