Fabiola Santiago

As the anti-Trump, Mitt Romney is a dud

Mitt Romney and Donald Trump in friendlier times, during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Mitt Romney and Donald Trump in friendlier times, during the 2012 presidential campaign. AP

I almost feel sorry for Republicans.

Had they consulted a psychologist on what ails the party, they might have learned a simple universal truth: Making decisions out of fear is a bad move. It sends you back to the past to reach for the familiar and comfortable, even if it didn’t work before — and won’t work again.

And so, sans an appropriate amount of therapy and soul-searching, the GOP has plucked from its “leadership” ranks last season’s losing nominee to battle the formidable menace to society that is Donald Trump.

The only thing dumber than thinking that Mitt Romney could be effective as the anti-Trump was Trump calling on another loser, Sarah Palin, for an endorsement to assuage the Fox News fans he angered by warring with Megyn Kelly in the first debate. But at least Palin served a purpose. The former Alaska governor and her family are such a train wreck that Trump’s move deflected attention for a while from his misogynist flap with Kelly. Palin bounced on stage with a glittery shimmying jacket that evoked a stripper pole, and stayed in the news for at least a week, blaming her son’s domestic violence arrest on PTSD caused by President Barack Obama.

She’s golden on the entertainment front, both when Palin plays Palin or when it’s Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live.

Romney is not even memorable as an SNL character.

With his large and tidy family (just don’t think of the dog tied to the roof of the family car on a road trip) Romney is more the anti-Palin, the anti-Alaskan wilderness, the anti-surprise. And he’s not that obsessed with Obama, as Republicans go.

No, Romney is not the right anti-Trump who can sway people for whom The Donald can do no wrong. They’re not as much into family values as they are into ego-boosting demagoguery. Trump makes them feel that they’re worth something.

No, Romney, with a voice devoid of confidence unless he’s addressing the 11 million undocumented he’s certain would “self-deport” upon his command, is not the man for the job of deflating Trump.

His anti-Trump robocall Tuesday on behalf of Marco Rubio in Michigan, Idaho, Hawaii and Mississippi only brings to memory how quickly he dismissed the Florida senator as a vice presidential running mate. And now he’s trying to assure Americans now that Rubio is “a candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton and who can make us proud.”

Isn’t it great that Rubio didn’t “self-deport” from his presidential ambitions?

But most of all, GOP: Why would you bring in as artillery the nominee who only one measly presidential election cycle ago said this? “I am so honored and pleased to have Donald Trump’s endorsement. Donald Trump has shown he has an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people.”

That’s like serving the nomination on a silver platter for Trump, who didn’t waste any time fighting back, sexual innuendo included: When Romney solicited his endorsement, Trump mused, “I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees,’ and he would have dropped to his knees.”

Romney delivers another Trumpian moment for the collection of the soon-to-be GOP presidential nominee.