tv Mitt Romney Remarks on 2016 Republican Field CSPAN March 4, 2016 1:29am-1:54am EST
>> my colleagues will say i saw you on c-span. so much more that c-span does to make sure people outside the beltway know what is going on inside of it. presidential12 nominee mitt romney gave a the public inng front runner donald trump. he urged primary voters to support on the other -- one of the other public and on the ballot. his remarks are 20 minutes. [applause] mr. romney: thank you, jason. thank you to the hinckley institute. it's good to be with you today. thank you.
[cheers and applause] mr. romney: i'm not here to announce my candidacy for office. and i'm not going to endorse a candidate today. instead, i'd like to offer my perspective on the nominating process of my party. back in 1964, just days before the presidential election, which incidentally we lost, ronald reagan went on national television and challenged america saying that it was a time for choosing. he saw two paths for america. one that embraced conservative principles dedicated to lifting people out of poverty and helping create opportunity for all. and the other, an oppressive government that would lead america down a darker, less free path. i'm no ronald reagan. and this is a different moment in time. but i believe with all my heart and soul that we face another
time for choosing. one that will have profound consequences for the republican party, and more importantly, for our country. i say this, in part, because of my conviction that america is i say this in part because of my conviction that america is poised to lead the world for another century. our technology engines, our innovation dynamic, the ambition and skill of our people are going to propel our economy and raise the standard of living of americans. today, the envy of the world. you may have seen warren buffett. he said, and i think he's 100% right, that the babies being born in america today are the luckiest crop in history. now, that doesn't mean we don't have real problems and serious challenges. we do. at home, poverty persists and wages are stagnant. the horrific massacres of paris and san bernardino, the nuclear ambitions of the iranian
mullahs, the aggressions of putin, the growing assertiveness of china , and the nuclear tests of north korea confirm that we live in troubled and dangerous times. but if we make the right choices, america's future will be even better than our past and better than our present. on the other hand, if we make improve dent choices, the bright choice horizon i've
described will not materialize. let me put it very plainly. if we republicans choose donald trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished. let me explain why i say that. first, on the economy. if donald trump's plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into prolonged recession. a few examples. his proposed 35% tariff-like penalties would instigate a
trade war, and that would raise prices for consumers, kill our export jobs, and lead entrepreneurs and businesses of all stripes to flee america. his tax plan, in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements and to honestly address spending, would balloon the deficit and the national debt. so, even though donald trump has offered very few specific economic plans, what little he has said is enough to know that he would be very bad for american workers and for american families. but you say, wait, wait, wait. isn't he a huge business success? doesn't he know what he's talking about? no, he isn't. and no, he doesn't. [cheers and applause] have his bankruptcies crushed small businesses. and the men and women who work for them.
he inherited his business. he didn't create it. and whatever happened to trump airlines? how about trump university? and then there's "trump magazine." and trump vodka. and trump steaks. and trump mortgage. a business genius he is not. now, not every policy that donald trump has floated is bad, of course. he wants to repeal and replace obamacare. he wants to bring jobs home from china and japan. but his prescriptions to do those things are flimsy, at best. at the last debate, all he could
remember about his health care plan was to remove insurance boundaries between states. successfully bringing jobs home requires serious policy and reforms that make america the place businesses want to come, want to plant, and want to grow. you can't punish business into doing what you want. frankly, the only serious policy proposals that deal with a broad range of national challenges we confront today
come from ted cruz, marco rubio, and john kasich. one of these men should be our nominee. [cheers and applause] now, i know that some people want this race to be over. they look at history and say, a trend like mr. trump's isn't going to be stopped. perhaps. but the rules of political history have pretty much all by shredded during this campaign. [laughter] if the other candidates can find some common ground, i believe we can nominate a person who can win the general election, and who will represent the values and policies of conservatism. given the current delegate selection process, that means that i'd vote for marco rubio in florida and for john kasich in ohio and for ted cruz or any one of the other two contenders has a better chance of beating mr. trump in any given state. now, let me turn to national security and the safety of our homes and loved ones. mr. trump's bombast is already alarming our allies and fueling
the enmity of our enemies. insulting all muslims will keep many of them from fully engaging with us in their urgent fight against isis. and for what purpose? muslim terrorists would only have to lie about their religion to enter the country. and then what he said on "60 minutes," did you hear this? it was about syria and isis. it has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the entire campaign season. let isis take out assad, he said. and then, we can pick up the remnants. now, think about that. let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over an entire country? this wrecklessness is wrecklessness in the extreme. now, donald trump tells us that he's very, very smart. [laughter] i'm afraid that when it comes to foreign policy, he is very, very not smart.
[laughter] [cheers and applause] now, i'm far from the first to conclude that donald trump lacks the temperament to be president. after all, this is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter. who attributed a reporter's trualions to her mens cycle. who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance. who bragged about his marital affairs. and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity. donald trump says he admires vladimir putin, at the same time he's called george w. bush a liar. that is a twisted example of evil trumping good. [applause] there's a dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the vietnam war.
while at the same time, john mccain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured. dishonesty is donald trump's hallmark. he claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into iraq. wrong. he spoke in favor of invading iraq. he said he saw thousands of muslims in new jersey celebrating 9/11. wrong. he saw no such thing. he imagined it. he's not of the temperament of the kind of stable, thoughtful person we need as a leader. his imagination must not be married to real power. the president of the united states has long been the leader of the free world. the president and, yes, even the nominees of the country's great parties, helped define
america to billions of people around the world. all of them bear the responsibility of being an example for our children and our grandchildren. think of donald trump's personal qualities. the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd, third-grade theatrics. you know, we've long referred to him as "the donald." he's the only person in the entire country to whom we have added an article before his name. and it wasn't because he had attributes we admired. [laughter] imagine your children and your grandchildren acting the way he does. would you welcome that? haven't we seen before what happens when people in prominent positions fail the basic responsibility of honorable conduct? we have. and it always injures our families and our country. watch, by the way, how he responds to my speech today. [cheers and applause]
will he talk about our policy differences? or will he attack me with every imaginable low-road insult? this may tell you what you need to know about his temperament, his stability, and his suitability to be president. now, mr. trump relishes any poll that reflects what he thinks of himself. but polls are also saying that he will lose to hillary clinton. think about that. on hillary clinton's watch, the state department, when she was guiding it and part of the obama administration, that state department watched as america's interests were diminished at every corner of the world. she compromised our national secrets. she dissembled to the families of the slain. and she jettisoned her most
profound beliefs to gain presidential power. for the last three decades, the clintons have lived at the intersection of money and politics, trading their political influence to enrich their personal finances. they embody the term crony capitalism. it disgusts the american people and causes them to lose faith in our political process. a person so untrustworthy and dishonest as hillary clinton must not become president. [cheers and applause] of course, a trump nomination enables her victory. and the audio and video of the infamous tapper-trump exchange on the ku klux klan will play
on cable, and who knows how many million times on social media. there are a number of people who claim that mr. trump is a con man. a fake. >> we love mitt! mr. romney: thank you. [laughter] [cheers and applause] let me say that again. there's plenty of evidence that mr. trump is a con man, a fake. mr. trump has changed his positions not just over the years, but over the course of the campaign. and on the ku klux klan, daily for three days in a row. we will only know if he's a real deal or a phony if he releases his tax returns and the tape of his interview with the "new york times." i predict that there are more bombshells in his tax returns. i predict that he doesn't give much if anything to the disabled and to our veterans.
i predict that he told "the new york times" that his immigration talk is just that -- talk. and i predict that despite his promise to do so, first made over a year ago, that he will never, ever release his tax returns. never. not the returns under audit, not even the returns that are no longer being audited. he has too much to hide. nor will he authorize the release of the tapes that he made with "the new york times." if i'm right, you'll have all the proof you need to know that donald trump is indeed a phony. attacking me, as he surely will, won't prove him any less of a phony. it's entirely in his hands to prove me wrong. all he has to do is release his back taxes, like he promised he would, and let us hear what he said behind closed doors to "the new york times." you know, ronald reagan used to
quote a scottish philosopher who predicted that democracies and civilizations wouldn't last much longer than a couple hundred years. and john adams wrote this. "remember, democracy never lasts long. it soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. there never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." that's john adams. i believe that america has proven these dire predictions wrong, for two reasons. first, we've been blessed with great presidents, with giants among us, men of character, integrity, and selflessness have led our nation from the very beginning. none were perfect. each surely made mistakes. but in every case, they acted out of the desire to do what was right for america. and for the cause of freedom.
the second reason is because we're blessed with a great people. people who a at every critical moment of choosing have put the interests of the country above their own. these two things are related. our presidents, time and again, have called on us to rise to the occasion. john f. kennedy asked us to consider what we could do for our country. lincoln drew upon the better angels of our nature to save the union. i understand the anger americans feel today. in the past, our presidents have channeled that anger and forged it into resolve, into endurance and high purpose and into the will to defeat the enemies of freedom. our anger was transformed into energy directed for good. mr. trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes. he creates scapegoats of muslims and mexican immigrants. he calls for
the use of torture.
he calls for killing the innocent children and family members of terrorists. he cheers assaults on protesters. he applauds the prospects of twisting the constitution to limit first amendment freedom of the press. this is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss. here's what i know. donald trump is a phony, a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. [cheers and applause] he's playing the members of the american public for suckers. he gets a free ride to the white house. and all we get is a lousy hat. [laughter] his domestic policies would lead to recession. his foreign policies would make
america and the world less safe. he has neither the temperament nor judgment to be president and his personal qualities would mean that america would cease to be a shining city on a hill. i'm convinced america has greatness ahead, and this is a time for choosing. god bless us to choose a nominee who will make that vision a reality. thank you, and god bless you all. thank you. [cheers and applause] at washingtonpost.com, this is the headline. philip, thank you for being with us.
as your article emphasizes, there is much
more to mitt romney's speech today than just criticizing donald trump. how so? >> it's important to remember, mitt romney is basically a charter member of the republican establishment. members -- establishment members like him. he is very articulate, he has policy plans. he is the republican establishment. the republican establishment is they are trying to win the elected office. we have seen over the course of the past years it's less and less necessary for republicans to leverage the party to win office. donald trump is the best example. donald trump did not need the party to win the presidency. he used the party and the parties mechanisms to get nominated, but he does not need them. it puts the party in a tough
position because he is not accountable to them. if there is a senate nomination, a house nomination come he wants. he does not have to go through the party structure. i think mitt romney very personally deals with this is a threat to what he has worked for in politics, and he is doing what he can to try to through obstacles between trump and the nomination. >> in one sentence from your piece, what trump has done is reveal how little power is left in the republican party. >> exactly, because the republican party, if you think about how the nomination process used to work, back in the day, there was not a primary system. who they just decided nominee should be. then they established the nomination system. they leverage the anonymity of candidates as a power source. people do not really know who these folks were, they were in the newspapers, but the
republican party controlled the primary process. he gave people the space to run for president if they thought they were real candidates. demo trump did not need that. he had way more media attention before he decided he would run for president than anybody could have imagined. he is not beholden to them in that regard either. what does the republican party have? it has a nomination process and some primaries that donald trump is able to step into and win. he does not need their money. medias not need their attention. he does not need their approval. that makes it tough for them to hold him accountable. >> based on that, what with the republican party look like if it is president donald trump? >> that is a great question. we are seeing right now is the republican party trying to figure that out. they are trying to figure out if they can exist as the same body of donald trump is the nominee. areink a lot of them
figuring that donald trump is railing against the republican party, railing against the establishment could change the party, could change the establishment, but is really posturing for the campaign. i think it is as simple as that. donald trump does not want to actually run an entire network of nominations and processes and things like that. the question is, what is their stance, what are the policy priorities? donald trump has made very clear statements that he disagrees with them on a lot of things like the iraq war. it will be tough for republicans to figure out how they deal with a president who stands opposed to a lot of what the party has stood for in the past. trump isgain donald driving the new cycle, but mitt romney's speech today, does it cut both ways? he represents the establishment and donald trump is the anti-establishment candidate. >> there is definitely a case to
be made in that regard. after month,month the establishment had a candidate, jeb bush. jeb bush was their guy, this moderate voice, the bush family, the legacy come he was going to be the nominee. turned out he was not very good at campaigning. donald trump used him as a punching bag for months, just beating up on him, even when jeb bush was 3% in the polls. donald trump would beat up on him because he was the establishment. he was using jeb bush is that proxy. and mittdrops out romney steps into that role. he is now the establishment. he gives donald trump a foil. it allows them to make the same point over and over, the establishment does not like me and i will beat them. was it a smart move by the former governor to deliver the speech today in utah? >> honestly, i don't know. i don't think it did a lot of damage, necessarily.
i think mitt romney feels frustrated. he sees a party that he led in 2012, he sees a lot of people upset with the party. i think he is just doing whatever he can to try to stop, trump. i think that what he can do is very limited, in the same way with the establishment can do is limited. they have not figured out how to stop trump. mitt romney steps income does not look like he figured it out either. is joining us from new york. his work is available online at washingtonpost.com. thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. >> republican candidate donald trump held a campaign rally in portland, maine, where he responded to mitt romney's attacks. this is just under one hour. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]