Lengel: Ronna McDaniel and Uncle Mitt -- Where Have Their Backbones Gone?

June 20, 2018, 8:13 AM by  Allan Lengel

Where have their backbones gone?

The late George Romney was no wimp. He was president of American Motors and Michigan's governor from 1963-69. He was regarded as a no-nonsense, moderate Republican with a backbone. 

Which makes it all that puzzling that his son Mitt and his granddaughter Ronna Romney McDaniel, who have been in the news lately, have no backbones. Their's are missing in action.  

Ronna Romney McDaniel, the daughter of Mitt's older brother Scott, may have to fight with her uncle over who's most deserving of the Spineless Award.

Both are products of Michigan. McDaniel, 45, attended Lahser High School in Bloomfield Hills. Uncle Mitt, 71, attended Cranbrook.

When President Donald Trump asked McDaniel to be the chairperson of the Republican National Committee, he had a request: Stop using your full name, Ronna Romney McDaniel, and drop "Romney," at least publicly. Seems Trump was none too happy with Uncle Mitt, who described Trump as a "phony, a fraud" during the 2016 presidential campaign. McDaniel complied. 

The spinelessness didn't  stop there. When President Trump endorsed GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore just days before the special election in Alabama, the White House convinced  Ronna "Don't Call Me Romney"  to resume RNC funding for Moore, the disgraceful candidate.

Last week she unleashed a tweet that brought a rebuke from some Republicans, including conservative journalist Bill Kristol and Sen. John McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain:

There are many other examples.

Then there's Uncle Mitt, who is regularly making headlines in his bid to win a U.S. Senate seat in Utah. The primary is next Tuesday.

He was a moderate Republican governor in Massachusetts, a liberal state. In 1994, when he ran for U.S. Senate against Ted Kennedy,  and in 2002, when he ran for governor,  he was pro-choice when it came to abortions. He also ran as a progressive moderate.  As governor in 2005, he suddenly became pro-life.

In 2012, in his bid for president, he tried casting himself as a conservative, though some party loyalists weren't buying that.

In 2016, he appeared to be nothing short of repulsed by the Trump candidacy.

"He's playing members of the American public for suckers" and that "If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished."

"I am dismayed at where we are now, I wish we had better choices."

Trump repaid him by referring to him as a "loser" and commented on his 2012 presidential campaign, saying he “choked like a dog. He’s a choker.”

Still, with all that being said, there was shameless Uncle Mitt meeting with Trump, shortly after the November 2106 election, asking for the coveted job of Secretary of State. Trump clearly had no intention of hiring him, and many speculated that he was just parading Uncle Mitt before the cameras to humiliate him. If that in fact was the case, mission accomplished. The job ended up going to Rex Tillerson, who probably wished he had never gotten it. 

But that's not all, as the TV commercials say.

Trump wanted to block Uncle Mitt from winning the Utah Senate seat by convincing Sen. Orrin Hatch to run for re-election.

That didn't work, and somehow magically Trump offered his endorsement, and Uncle Mitt gladly accepted.

"He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to Orrin Hatch, and has my full support and endorsement!" Trump tweeted on Feb. 19.

Uncle Mitt tweeted about 30 minutes later:

"Thank you Mr. President for the support. I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah."

Thankfully, George Romney isn't around to witness all this. 

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