4 Mitt Romney Boxing Matches We Desperately Want To See Next
The intersection between politics and sports will reach an apex of sorts on Friday with Mitt Romney and Evander Holyfield's charity boxing match in Utah. The match pits a political heavyweight against an actual former heavyweight champion, and the proceeds will go to Charity Vision, an organization aimed at combating vision problems in some of the poorest countries in the world. Though the match-up is bemusing, as charity events are sometimes known for, I personally think there could be other Mitt Romney boxing matches that could prove interesting, too.
Holyfield has had his run-ins with over-aggression — an angry Mike Tyson once infamously bit off a piece of Holyfield's ear — but by all accounts, former Massachusetts governor will be a gentler fighter than the retired boxer is accustomed to. Mitt "The Gloves" Romney has promised stay away from Holyfield's ear, and at some 50 pounds lighter than Holyfield — a hulking mass of a man even in retirement — Romney has already conceded to The New York Times that he expects to be "beaten but not unbowed."
No matter the result, the fight will prove interesting — how often do you get to watch a slick, put-together politician get beaten up by a professional boxer (or vice versa) in the ring? The thought brings to mind other Romney boxing match-fantasies.
Mitt Romney vs President Obama
Sure, they might be all smilies here, but these two were at each other's throats in the 2012 election. The photo was taken after the heated final election debate that proved to us all how well politicians can hide behind a mask of faux-geniality.
The feud further extended in 2015, when Romney was still "seriously considering" running and had waxed lyrical on poverty. Obama shot back, referring coyly to one "former presidential candidate” who was "suddenly deeply concerned about poverty." A boxing match to air out all the bad blood could prove healthy for their rivalry, after all these years.
Mitt Romney vs John McCain
Romney and McCain have a largely amicable relationship — except for a brief period in 2008, when the two engaged in a series of attacks against each other as top contenders for the GOP presidential nomination.
After Romney dropped out of the race and endorsed McCain, however, there were rumblings of him becoming McCain's running mate, a position he ostensibly lost out to the calamitous Sarah Palin, whom McCain claimed at the time to be "a better candidate" than Romney, which, in hindsight, was a terrible mistake that the two could hash out over a friendly boxing match.
Mitt Romney vs "Binders Full Of Women"
Romney's gaffes made for amusing headlines in 2012; one of my favorites is his remarks on improving gender equality. He said that during his governorship, after noting an overwhelming number of men applying for jobs in his cabinet, he ordered his staff to actively find women who were qualified for his cabinet positions — which is great, if not for the fact that he added that he was then brought "binders full of women."
Many seized on the comment as evidence of Romney's lack of understanding on gender equality. Though he ultimately did not think that the gaffe hurt his campaign too much, Romney's career could do well with an in-the-ring obliteration of the remark.
Mitt Romney vs "The 47 Percent"
During the 2012 campaign, Romney was secretly filmed telling an audience at a private fundraiser in Florida that there will be "47 percent of the people" who will vote for Obama no matter what. That figure, was used to describe poor people who were on welfare, who, in line with the conservatives' narrative, were lazy, irresponsible and entitled. Romney added:
There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
The clip, after going viral online, fed into the portrayal of Romney as a wealthy, out-of-touch politician. The "47 percent" remark topped Yale's Quotes Of The Year, and it persisted throughout the years even as Romney launched a series of excuses for it. Romney would definitely relish the chance to pummel the living daylights out of that comment until it no longer haunted his political career.
Image: Getty Images (2); Getty Images, Celia Darrough (3)