Mitt Romney Magnificently Channels John Oliver In His Scathing Takedown Of Donald Trump — VIDEO
In a time when some of the best political commentary comes from comedians (hats off to the original Daily Show and all of the great careers to come out of it), it's looking like politicians themselves are beginning to crib notes from our favorite late night hosts. Former Governor of Massachusetts and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney may have pulled a page out of Last Week Tonight's book during his Donald Trump takedown on Thursday. And while the speech definitely lacked the same humorous flavor possessed by John Oliver, you can't help but wonder if the wildly popular "Drumpf" segment may have had a bit to do with Romney's call to action.
In a speech at the University of Utah, Romney began by making it clear that he was not there to endorse a candidate. Perhaps this induced a sigh of relief among more establishment conservatives — this wouldn't have been the first endorsement Trump had received from a former presidential contender, with Chris Christie's backing of the GOP front-runner shocking the party just last week. But Romney was in fact there for a very different reason.
After dispelling rumors of a possible endorsement, Romney then launched into a scathing takedown of Trump that carried on for close to 20 minutes. The former governor of Massachusetts nevertheless laid things out plainly within the first few minutes, saying, "If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished." He then broke down why he believes this to be true: Trump's lack of any record on foreign policy, his inability to hold down a consistently conservative position on many issues, and that a Trump nomination would ultimately mean a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Romney and Oliver's speeches crossed paths when Romney brought up a list of Trump's failed business ventures (my personal favorite being the Trump steaks, which were sold only at The Sharper Image for some reason we'll likely never know). Both Romney and Oliver used these as examples of how the Trump name, despite the common perception, does not always equal success. Romney stated:
But wait, you say, isn’t he a huge business success that knows what he’s talking about? No, he isn’t. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it. And what ever 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.
This was almost straight out of Oliver's commentary from earlier this week, and the failed businesses are listed in nearly the same order, to boot. Though Trump has said, "If I put my name on something, you know it's going to be good," Oliver pointed out that "over the years, his name has been on some things that have arguably been very un-good." He then listed the same failed business ventures that Romney did in his own speech, also saving the most ridiculous examples, the steaks and a mortgage company (which was started right before the housing crash), for last.
So did Romney watch Oliver's "Drumpf" segment? Given the closeness of their lines of critique, I think it's a safe bet that Romney also gets some of his political coverage from comedians.