It’s hard to oppose your own party’s presumptive nominee, even one as demagogic and ill-prepared as Donald Trump. So Mitt Romney deserves great credit for his principled stand against the man who is now the face of the GOP. I can certainly understand why Romney is appalled by Trump. Whatever one believes about Romney’s ideology, he has led an exemplary personal life, been a widely-respected public manager, and a successful private business leader. Trump is almost the photographic negative of Romney in at least two of these three departments. The Clinton camp is hammering this theme, adding a new twist on President Obama’s 2012 pitch: Trump is an uncaring plutocrat like Romney, only Trump is also bad at his job.
Still, Romney and other Republican luminaries must understand that they could have spared America much grief had they acted sooner with greater principle. Instead, last time they had the chance, they openly courted Trump when he could benefit them politically. In 2012 — a full year after Trump sent private investigators to Hawaii in search of President Obama’s birth certificate — Romney sought and won Trump’s endorsement.
More here, from me, in my first piece for the New York Daily News.