After Mitt Romney told a senior Republican he “almost certainly will” run for president and spent the weekend reviving his national network of political supporters and donors, Rand Paul called his potential rival for the 2016 GOP nomination “yesterday’s news”. Well, he kind of has a point there…
The junior senator from Kentucky criticized Mitt Romney for being too liberal for the Republican Party in 2016. Rand Paul told a Fox News Radio interviewer Monday that Romney’s promise to be a “conservative alternative” to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush won’t go over well and the former Massachusetts governor’s time has passed.
“If (Mitt Romney) runs to the right of Jeb Bush, he’ll still be to the left of the rest of the party, so it may be a difficult spot to occupy,” Paul said.
“Look, I like Governor Romney, I like him personally, I think he is a good person, I think he was a great businessman,” Paul said. “But you know that’s yesterday’s news.”
Paul went on: “I think he did a lot of things right, but in the end you got to have a bigger constituency, you got to get new people, you got to attract new people to win and I think it’s time that probably the party is going to be looking for something fresh and new.”
Like Rand Paul? I’m not sure what Paul is complaining about – if Romney runs slightly to the right of Jeb Bush, he and Bush (and maybe Chris Christie too?) could be competing both for the same financial backers and for the Republican middle ground – which leaves Rand Paul free to duke it out with Tea Party darling Ted Cruz for the crazy vote. If anything, Rand Paul should be thanking Romney for muddling up the Republican middle, not calling him “yesterday’s news”.
Romney, who won some of the Republican primary contests in 2008 but was ultimately beaten by John McCain, went on to lose the presidential election to Barack Obama in 2012. But this time around, Romney is determined to learn from his past mistakes – i.e. not to alienating Hispanics, poor people, binders of women – basically anyone who isn’t a white male millionaire. Who knows – maybe third time’s the charm?