Predictably, Fox News made a big deal out of Donald Trump’s endorsement of Mitt Romney yesterday. Trump got more than 16 minutes at the opening of On The Record to discuss his endorsement without host Greta Van Susteren calling him out too much on his hypocrisy given that he has slammed Romney in the past. But that was nothing compared to the flippity-flopping that Trump did in the middle of the interview as first he gave Van Susteren one unlikely explanation for Romney having pulled out of the Trump debate and then, when confronted with an inconsistency about that explanation, told her he had not said what he had just said. Sadly, Van Susteren let him skate.
Van Susteren did make some decent attempts to hold Trump’s feet to the fire of truth. Citing Romney’s refusal to participate in the debate Trump had planned to moderate last December (before he bowed out, one night after saying he wouldn't), she asked, “Why are you in (Romney’s) corner now?”
Trump said, “We had a little talk… He was very respectful and very good and… I understood his reasons for not doing it, fully.”
Van Susteren: “What were his reasons, fully?”
Trump: “For one thing, he was leading and he figured, you know, ‘Why should I jeopardize a possible lead,’ and I could understand that. I did understand that, actually. He called me, he couldn’t have been nicer and I fully understood. And I think he might have done it if I really asked hard.”
Van Susteren noted that Romney had said he pulled out of the debate due to scheduling issues. Had he changed his reasons now to say it was because he was leading in the polls?
Trump: “No, this is what I was saying. I was saying that frankly, from his standpoint, I could understand why he wasn’t doing it. And I felt it was because he was doing very well and what did he need to jeopardize it for?”
Was Trump saying he had had an imaginary conversation with Romney in which Romney telepathically communicated that "he figured” he should not jeopardize his lead? And that’s what Trump “fully understood?”
If so, then that points to another Trump lie. Because around the time Romney pulled out, Trump sang a completely different tune. Then, he said he was “shocked” by Romney’s decision not to participate. Furthermore, Romney was behind in the polls at the time – at least according to Trump. He told CNN, “I was surprised. If I was losing in the polls, I wouldn’t be saying no to anybody… I’ll tell you, I was very impressed with Newt, who’s leading in the polls, immediately said, 'I want to do that debate.'”
Van Susteren didn’t press further, nor did she note the whopper Trump had just pulled on her viewers.
But before you could say, “flip flop,” Trump did another. He told Van Susteren, “I think Mitt is going to do really well. I think he’s going to be an AMAZING candidate and I think he’s going to do great against President Obama… I think that Mitt Romney will be a great candidate.”
Van Susteren did note that Trump had been “less effusive” about Romney last year. That’s an understatement of how Trump has trashed Romney in the past.
But Trump wasn’t through flipping and flopping. He now claimed that he had said to Romney, “You’ve done a great job. You’ve put tremendous numbers of people to work.” Later in the interview, Trump said Romney “gets it. He’s a great businessman. I think he’s really a natural businessman, which is very important.” But less than six months ago, ABC News quoted Trump on the subject of Romney as follows:
“If you look at his record as governor, it wasn’t totally stellar,” Trump said. “His job production was not great at all. In fact, it was the third worst in the nation.”But one thing you can be sure of: Fox News will forget these lies and contradictions as quickly and completely as it did that Hawaii investigation into Obama’s birth certificate Trump crowed about last year.
The day I have to explain myself to Donald Trump in Exchange for an endorsement for anything is the day I have lost all self-respect and may as well just die.
A candidate for president of the US sucking up to a douchebag for an endorsement…..have we really sunk that low?