Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Blog
Mitt Romney is proving, once again, to be the political shape-shifter he is often accused of being. Throughout the race for the nomination, which is likely to end today in Texas, Romney positioned himself as the most electable candidate, and the most “presidential.” He refrained from pandering to some of the popular issues other candidates pounced on, playing to the passions of their base constituents. In New Hampshire and Iowa, Romney struck down attempts by supporters to seek validation of their anti-Muslim, bigoted viewpoints. Throughout the height of Donald Trump’s “birther” craze Romney did not engage, and presumably encouraged his son Matt to apologize for his “dumb joke” on the matter. But with the nomination secured, and with two new peculiar alliances, Romney seems to be headed in precisely the opposite direction on both these issues. Etch-a-Sketch rings a bell.
One has to expect a candidate to switch campaign tactics over time, but when fundamental beliefs seem to be altered for political and financial gain, questions must be raised. Recently, Romney appeared with Donald Trump at a fundraiser where Trump reiterated the ridiculous notion that President Obama was not born in the US, and therefore not qualified for the Presidency. Romney this time stood by silently in what seemed like a tacit endorsement of Trump’s conspiracy, though he himself did say that he believed President Obama was born in the US. Romney can say he does not support “birtherism” all he wants, but appearing with Trump while he continues allege otherwise makes Romney look like he supports the “birther” conspiracy, but he’s too afraid to say it himself. He wants to buy Trump’s supporters, but not pay for them. Arab Americans who once looked to Romney for leadership on this know that the “birther” conspiracy has an anti-Arab, anti-Muslim undertone and it seems strange that Romney, a Mormon, would pander to Trump’s attempt to paint Obama as an “other.”
In addition to Trump, Romney is entertaining Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire known for throwing money behind those promoting an anti-Muslim agenda. Today, Bloomberg reported that the two are meeting. If Romney will entertain the notion that the President of this country is a fraud in order to reap the benefits of Trump’s political and financial repertoire, then what would he be willing to let fly for a man who once said he could give a former rival $100 Million? Adelson is the 17th richest man in the world, and he is no friend to our community. He funded the Clarion Fund’s film “The Third Jihad” which, among other things, depicts Muslims as engulfed in an epic battle to supplant the US justice system with Sharia. Adelson, who bankrolled the pro-Gingrich super PAC and undoubtedly helped to encourage many of the comments Gingrich made about Palestinians and American Muslims. With his new alliances, Romney is demonstrating what he does best: go where the money is. For those looking for a conservative and principled Republican candidate who sticks to his/her guns, depending on who you ask, Romney may not be either.