Yesterday on CNN, Mitt Romney ruled out supporting Donald Trump on grounds of character. Romney called Trump a racist, referring repeatedly to “trickle-down racism,” by which I take it he means racism inspired in future generations by a racist president. When asked at the end of the interview by Wolf Blitzer whether he thinks Trump is a racist, Romney wouldn’t quite say that, but instead responded that Trump’s “comments, time and again, appeal to the racist tendency that exists in some people.” Here is the video; it is only about a minute and a half:
I find the willingness of Republican leaders to allege that Trump is a racist disheartening, if not shocking. We expect that kind of calumny from the Democrats; they accuse pretty much all of their opponents of being racists. (Has Romney forgotten that the Democrats called him a racist, over and over, during the 2012 election? If you have forgotten too, just Google “Mitt Romney racist.”)
Romney’s Exhibit A as evidence of Trump’s racism were his comments about the Trump University judge, which have been discussed ad nauseam. But, while Trump’s attack on Judge Curiel may have been stupid, it wasn’t racist. He merely agreed with liberals that a person of Mexican descent may be biased against Trump because of his position on immigration. What is wrong with that? Ann Coulter’s epic rant is correct:
The entire media — and most of the GOP — have spent 10 months telling us that Mexicans in the United States are going to HATE Trump for saying he’ll build a wall. Now they’re outraged that Trump thinks one Mexican hates him for saying he’ll build a wall.
What else has Trump done that could arguably be racist? His proposed ban on Islamic immigrants if often cited, but that is silly since Islam isn’t a race. Moreover, if he would improve how he articulates his proposal–it isn’t feasible to ban Muslims from immigrating to the U.S., but it would be easy to suspend immigration from majority-Muslim countries, except for refugees from religious persecution–it would be good policy, in my opinion. Likewise, it is absurd to argue that Trump’s stated intention to carry out his constitutional duty by enforcing the immigration laws is racist–yet that claim is frequently made.
Trump has been in the public eye for decades. He has made plenty of enemies and, like any famous, arrogant person, he has lots of detractors. Yet to my knowledge, no one who actually knows Trump or has dealt with him calls him a racist or bigot of any other stripe. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he has never been heard to call anyone a “f****** Jew bastard.”
By endorsing the Democrats’ baseless attacks on Trump, Mitt Romney is doing a terrible disservice, not just to the Republican Party, but to the United States of America.