Trump, Romney and a listless GOP presidential race

Trump, Romney and a listless GOP presidential race

February 4th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

It is not promising that the "latest news development" in the presidential race is that real estate mogul and reality TV show host Donald Trump endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

But wait! Until the announcement that Trump had decided to support Romney, there had been speculation that "the Donald" might endorse Romney's chief rival for the Republican nomination, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

What drama!

Is Trump's endorsement, delivered at his hotel and casino in Las Vegas, supposed to "help" Romney? Some wonder. While Romney was appreciative, his campaign didn't seem to dwell long on the endorsement. Given Americans' diverse views on Trump, it's unclear whether Trump's backing of Romney will benefit the front-runner.

It also may not have done Romney much good to get Trump's endorsement a day after Romney used a poor choice of words in trying to say he would fight for the middle class.

Speaking on CNN, he said: "I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich. They're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling. You can focus on the very poor; that's not my focus."

Romney's comments are predictably being taken out of context to make him sound heartless. Nonetheless, he likely will be more careful in choosing his words in the future.

Meanwhile, there remain concerns on the GOP side about whether a clearly principled, inspiring candidate is in prospect to defeat President Barack Obama.

Four more years of Obama would be unthinkable, and in fairness any of the current GOP hopefuls would do a better job than he has done. But Obama didn't get where he is by being a poor campaigner, and he is amassing money for his re-election bid. Even with the weak economy, it will take a tough, solid candidate to beat him.