By: Frank Shannon

This past Thursday, Mitt Romney gave a passionate speech where he excoriated Donald Trump, calling him several names and warning a Trump presidency would be a disaster for America.

This Romney stands in stark contrast to what we heard during the 2012 campaign when Mitt enjoyed Donald’s endorsement and money.  Romney, in 2012, called Trump an outstanding person and businessman.  Thursday, however, went on to say that Trump’s plan to stand up to China was crazy and would trigger a trade war.  Romney’s words don’t ring true when one looks at what was on his 2012 campaign website “Believe in America – Mitt Romney’s plan for Jobs and Economic Growth.”

Back then, Romney stated on his website:

  1. “Encouraging trade does not mean entering into agreements that disadvantage the United States or being soft with trading partners who ignore our agreements. … [T]he World Trade Organization litigation process has been singularly unreceptive to American interests. None of this is reason to embrace protectionism, but it is reason for tough bargaining and strict implementation.”
  2. “Impose punitive measures if unfair trade practices continue (Mitt Romney, No Apology).”
  3. “China’s unfair trade practices extend to the country’s manipulation of its currency to reduce the price of its products relative to those of competing nations such as ours. While the extent and impact of the manipulation is widely debated, the practice provides an invisible subsidy to Chinese goods sold internationally and an invisible tariff on other nations attempting to sell in China.”
  4. CONFRONTING CHINA – “China presents a broad set of problems that cry out urgently for solutions. It is time to end the Obama administration’s acquiescence to the one-way arrangements the Chinese have come to enjoy. We need a fresh and fearless approach to that trade relationship. Our first priority must be to put on the table all unilateral actions within our power to ensure that the Chinese adhere to existing agreements. Anyone with business experience knows that you can succeed in a negotiation only if you are willing to walk away. If we want the Chinese to play by the rules, we must be willing to say “no more” to a relationship that too often benefits them and harms us.”
  5. “(I would) Designate China a Currency Manipulator and Impose Countervailing Duties.
  6. “Current U.S. law requires that the Department of the Treasury release a biannual review in which it identifies any countries that are manipulating their currency to gain an unfair advantage. The Department of Commerce also has the power to find that Chinese currency policy constitutes an unfair subsidy to Chinese exporters, and to assess countervailing duties on Chinese products. The Obama administration has declined to take either action, effectively accepting China’s problematic practices. That acceptance has to end. If China fails to move quickly to bring its currency to fair value, the Department of the Treasury in a Romney administration will designate China a currency manipulator and the Department of Commerce will impose countervailing duties.”
  7. “The time has to come to lay out a series of steps that China must take to become a responsible member of the global economy. And the time has also come to lay out the consequences that would accompany its failure to make rapid progress toward that end. Despite what the Obama administration appears to believe, the United States is working from a position of strength. Mitt Romney understands that fundamental point and all that follows from it. He will seek to right our trade relationship with China and strengthen our commercial ties with the rest of the world. Nothing less than economic recovery is at stake.”

I would like to know if Governor Romney believes what he said in 2012 or was he misleading us to gain votes from the same folks that are now supporting Mr. Trump in huge numbers.

I think Mr. Romney owes those of us who voted for him an apology for misleading us in 2012 or he owes Mr. Trump an apology for misrepresenting what he said on TV about trade with China this past Thursday.

Romney would do better by listening to the strong message the American electorate is sending and working to bring Republicans together not attacking the candidate voter may prefer.  He should let the process work.

Frank Shannon served in the U.S. Army, was an engineering/operations manager for AT&T for 27 years, was the owner of a small manufacturing business for 23 years, served as Colorado Chair of the Coalition for a Prosperous America and moved to Mesquite in 2013.