Credit: Gage Skidmore under licence CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr

Mitt Romney: America is turning into an awful place, you know

Mitt Romney Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore under CC licence

A fairly extraordinary statement for any politician to make, this, but worth reading, in the context of the ongoing mud-flinging match that is the US Presidential election:

He’s right, of course – it is terrible. Whether one is a supporter of President Trump, or of Vice President Biden, it doesn’t especially reflect well on the United States that it is so publicly choosing between two old men who spend more time sniping at each other in insulting terms than they do actually talking about policy. Here’s Trump yesterday:

And Biden, in return:

You’d see less childishness in a creche. If one of them is asked about their age, they should respond with something like “I might be old, but he’s the same age, and he’s still a child”.

Anyway, why is Romney weighing in like this?

What’s notable in that statement, I think, is the way Trump comes in for heavy and direct criticism, but Biden…. Doesn’t. In fact, Biden gets singled out by Romney as not that bad at all compared to the others.

Romney was the Republican nominee in 2012. He’s probably unable to come right out and say “I’m voting for the Democrat”, but this is about as close as he can get to that without outright saying it.

He remains, after all, the first Senator in US history to cast a vote to impeach a President of his own party – which he did last year, when he voted to remove President Trump from office. It’s safe to say he’s not a fan.

But he’s still going to vote to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, before the election. He’s a loyal Republican – he’s just not especially loyal to the Republican President.

Anyway, whatever his motives are, and we’re just speculating here, he’s undoubtedly right. It is embarrassing. And maybe it’s no more complicated than that – Romney’s a patriot, and he wants his fellow politicians to cop on a bit.

He’ll be hoping for a long time, you suspect.

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