Missing Mitt: Romney talks regret with despondent Republicans
A few blocks away, Donald Trump was on a break from the campaign trail to tout his own hotel. By KATIE GLUECK
As the 2016 Republican nominee hawked his new hotel in downtown Washington on Wednesday, the 2012 Republican nominee was a few blocks up the street, giving morose business leaders a taste of what might have been.
Legal reform was ostensibly the subject of Mitt Romney’s address at the ornate U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters Wednesday afternoon. But just about every sentence from the measured 2012 Republican standard-bearer offered a study in contrasts with the fiery, bombastic Donald Trump — and it was clear the well-heeled audience missed him, greeting Romney with a standing ovation.
“Title the speech ‘I told you so,’” Chamber President Tom Donohue said he had suggested of Romney’s keynote. “Of course, he’s a little too polite [for] that.”
And in his speech, which clocked in at just under 13 minutes, Romney was polite, taking only veiled and mild swipes at both Trump and Hillary Clinton — a far cry from his successor’s frequent bouts of name-calling. But more subtly, with his optimistic assertions that America is “the greatest nation in the history of the earth” and his nods to businesses started by first- and second-generation immigrants, Romney offered a clear rebuke to Trump’s often-dark nativism.
“I’ve watched the presidential debates, I’ve looked at the give-and-take, there’s been almost no discussion of those things I’ve described,” he lamented after sketching out economic and educational challenges facing the country. “The national debt and how to deal with it, reforming entitlements, I don’t think either candidate for president has said they’re going to reform entitlements one way or another.”
Read more here