More grief for “The Mitt” with backing from The Donald?
Mitt Romney, Donald Trump said in a surprise endorsement from Las Vegas this afternoon, would make a “tough” and “smart” president who wouldn’t “allow bad things to continue to happen to this country we all love.”
But it wasn’t clear that backing from Trump, a real estate mogul who cultivates an aura of glitz and glamour, would help Romney, the former private equity executive who has a net worth estimated at some $270 million and fights charges by critics that he is out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.
Democrats pounced on the opportunity to draw parallels between Romney and the television personality, claiming in a video that alluded to Trump’s starring role on the reality television program, “The Apprentice,” that Romney nabbed Trump’s endorsement because “they both like firing people.”
Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz echoed the theme, telling MSNBC that the endorsement wasn’t surprising because “they both like firing people and they both made millions doing it.” Likening Trump to a “cartoon character,” the DNC head said his endorsement is “like Bugs Bunny saying which candidate for president he supports. So it’s really kind of a non-news event.”
Newt Gingrich, Romney’s chief Republican rival who had reportedly expected to receive Trump’s backing, issued through his spokesperson a long list of public criticisms Trump had previously leveled at the former Massachusetts governor. Among them was a comment Trump made on CNN in April of last year:
“Mitt Romney is a basically small business guy,” Trump said. “He was a hedge fund guy, a fund guy, he walked away with some money from a very good company that he didn’t create; he worked there. He would buy companies; he’d close companies; he’d get rid of jobs.”
Romney was upset in the South Carolina primary on Jan. 21 after a series of ads portraying him as a heartless corporate raider. He once said – in a remark taken out of contest – that he enjoyed firing people. But he also told a questioner last summer that “corporations are people,” and yesterday took heat for saying he did not care about the very poor.
Watch the DNC video:
Photo credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking (Trump endorses Romney; Ann Romney looks on at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas)