Update: Just a few quick impressions,
1. Romney’s most substantive critique of the Trump campaign-arguably, the only one highlighted in this speech-revolved around Donald Trump’s support for high import tariffs. It should be noted that even some of his harshest critics don’t believe he’ll follow through on his promises, re: retaliatory trade measures. Whether that is a credit or a debit in his column is up to the voters.
2. The foreign policy portion of his speech was arguably the worst part, accentuating the divide between ordinary, disillusioned Republican voters and the establishment which has supported-and to a large degree, enabled-previous foreign entanglements, with their disastrous consequences. For a contrary view, I suggest reading this impassioned post on Ricochet from a former conservative.
3. It continues to baffle me why the Republican Party apparatus believes that trotting out establishment politicians and pundits to publicly and unambiguously reject Trump voters-in addition to the Trump candidacy itself-will diminish the appeal of Donald Trump. The only way the Romney speech could have been more tin-eared is if it had been a joint press conference with Jeb Bush.
4. Although it was, as Fox News anchor Stuart Varney described, “20 minutes of venom,” this speech was, for the most part, bereft of any emotional energy/anger. It was a reminder of why Mitt Romney-despite other admirable qualities as a political candidate-never connected with a large segment of the American public during his 2 prior presidential campaigns.
Watch it live.