Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Kristin Peach
Observer Staff Writer 

Trump Was Compared to Hitler, Mussolini at Romney Summit; Ryan was Shamed

Speaker felt he had no choice but to endorse a man many Republicans see as the end of their party

 

Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan on the Campaign trail in 2012. Will Ryan run in 2020?

Well, at least they asked him to Run for President in 2020. Assuming of course Donald R. Trump is not the incumbent.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) faced tough questioning at 2012 running mate Mitt Romney's annual E2 summit Friday, attendees report. In particular, attendees such as Meg Whitman demanded an explanation for his decision to endorse Trump, and he tried to explain his thinking to an audience hostile to the Donald.

Ryan's appearance allowed people to discuss the Elephant in the Room for the Republican Party:- the alarm with which most establishment Republicans view Trump's pending nomination. It allowed them to weigh the damage it could do to the party in after November 2016.

Ryan's closed-door session was attended by about 300 elite Republican donors and business executives. While Ryan has endorsed Trump (or at least said he will vote for the real estate mogul), Mitt Romney delivered a speech in March in which he said "Donald Trump is a phoney, a fraud who's promises are worth no more than a degree from Trump University." There is no going back for Romney.

Campbell Brown, a former CNN anchor and founder of the education news site the74.org, moderated the session with Ryan and grilled him about his decision. Speaker appeared uncomfortable when Brown told him that her boy, who knows and admires Ryan, came into the bedroom the morning after he had announced his support for Trump dismayed by the news.

"How would you explain this to a child?" She asked.

One of the toughest questions for Ryan came from Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard and a longtime friend of Romney's who helped bankroll a Republican anti-Trump super PAC this spring. Whitman asked Ryan how he could endorse someone with, in her judgment, such poor character and whose campaign has been based on personal attacks and division.

According to two people present, Whitman said Trump is the latest in a long line of historic demagogues, explicitly comparing him to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

One is reminded of Von Hindenberg, president of Germany, who detested Hitler but appointed him Chancellor of German in 1932, because he felt he had no choice.

Ryan explained that he had obligations as leader of House Republicans. Opposition to Trump is hardly unanimous, and many House members increased pressure on the Speaker to back Trump.

Some of them represent districts, like West Virginia or Ohio, where Republican voters are strongly supportive of Trump, Ryan explained.

Ryan spent part of his appearance promoting his agenda for House Republicans, including a robust discussion of national security and efforts to eliminate poverty.

The audience was described as largely anti-Trump, in favor of Ryan and yet sympathetic to Ryan's predicament.

One attendee stood up to plead with Ryan, "Will you please run for president in 2020?" The room, full of longtime friends and supporters of the Speaker, erupted in applause.

Mar 3 -- At a speech in Salt Lake City, Utah, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney laid out a scathing critique of GOP front-runner Donald Trump. "Dishonesty is Trump's hallmark," he said. The former Massachusetts governor called Trump a phony and said, "if we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished."

The Washington Post says that Reporters were excluded from the off-the-record session, but the exchanges were described later by three attendees, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Washington Post is of course, famously Anti-Trump. Mike Huckabee, former 2 time presidential candidate, was interviewed about this story by FoxNews. He said:

"These guys are spiraling into utter irrelevance. How do you stop a guy(i.e. Trump) who got 3.5 million more votes than Mitt Romney did in the primaries?"

"This is the people’s guy. A lot of people have lost their homes in foreclosure, lost their jobs. Mitt is trying to divide the party at a time when the party needs to unite. Mitt made mistakes, candidates make mistakes. This is an absurd way for party leaders to act. If you want to keep the house and senate, do something the people want you to do. Stop illegal immigration! Do something to help people at the bottom of the ladder, not just at the top. " said Huckabee. "If you don’t like the candidate, why didn’t you run yourself, Mitt? He’s a friend of mine, but it’s time to get behind Trump if you don’t want Hillary Clinton. "

 

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