What's Really Going On Between Trump and Romney?

  • 03/08/2016 12:00 AM
  • Source: AAN
  • by: AAN Staff
When Mitt Romney launched into attack mode against Donald Trump, it turned heads. The sight of mild mannered Mitt hurling charges like “phony” and “fraud” at the GOP frontrunner was not only out of character, it was without purpose. To whom was Romney speaking? Establishment Republicans and pundits have already made up their minds, and won’t be voting for Trump no matter what Romney says. Grassroots conservatives who view Romney as the embodiment of everything wrong with the GOP establishment were likely encouraged that their new Trump coalition has the establishment worried enough to bring out the “big guns.” The speech left many wondering: how could Romney be so tone deaf? Well, maybe he wasn’t.
FEC filings suggest a surprising degree of overlap in the underpinnings of the Romney 2012 campaign and the Trump 2016 effort. 

Both campaigns use the same Establishment-linked bank, Chain Bridge Bank, located in McLean, VA.  Not a big surprise for Romney, but for New York based Trump? 

Both campaigns use online fundraising tool Piryx. No surprise for Romney who helped launch that platform (which is partially owned by billionaire environmental whacko Tom Steyer), but Pyrix has lost GOP marketshare. So how did Trump end up there?

The big connector is long time Romney-ite Tim Jost, a Vice President at Red Curve Solutions, a Beverly, MA based firm.  Jost had a long career in various capacities for Mitt. According to his bio, Jost began working for Romney in 2003 as Deputy Finance Director for Romney's gubernatorial campaign. Jost went on to be Deputy CFO and is still listed on FEC reports as Assistant Treasurer for Romney for President… and Treasurer for Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Jost’s company, Red Curve, is a vendor to both.

Both the Romney 2012 and Trump 2016 campaigns continue to retain international mega-law firm, Jones Day.

And then there is Targeted Victory, an online firm that served as digital backbone of the Romney 2012 campaign, providing everything from digital advertising to billions of emails sent to social media outreach. FEC filings show that Trump's campaign has made 157 payments to Targeted Victory totaling over $84,000.00 – yet he doesn’t send emails outside his own email lists.

Targeted Victory controls one of the most valuable assets in politics: Romney’s 2012 email file. Targeted Victory rents the file on the (sort of) market, but it’s Romney list – so why hasn’t he sent a single email attacking Trump to those millions of Republican primary and general election voters?  If defeating Trump is so critical, email provides Romney with the fastest, easiest, and perhaps most efficient attack, but he hasn’t used it. Instead, he's offered all three candidates robocalls (a cost to them as opposed to an email from Romney).
Romney publicly disavowed Trump last week, and spent Friday afternoon explaining to Neil Cavuto his aversion to a brokered convention. In disavowing his own interest in the presidency, Romney told Cavuto "the nominee of our party will be someone who is running for president...and I'm going to support one of the people who's running for president." Just days later, Romney went on to call for voters to split their focus in Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina to create a brokered convention.  Some pundits claimed he was hoping to position himself or his former running mate Paul Ryan as the “consensus” nominee – something those same pundits – and everyone else - found bizarre.
And maybe that’s the point.  It’s utterly delusional to think that one of the 4 remaining candidates – most likely frontrunner Donald Trump or close-second Ted Cruz – will not be the nominee.  It’s equally delusional to think denying the candidate with the most delegates the nomination is even possible. That would ignite a GOP civil war and doom the party.  But, if each of the big states is pushed towards a different candidate, would that not pave the way for Trump to take a commanding lead, and the nomination?  If that’s what Romney seeks to avoid, why is he helping make it a reality, pushing others to run expensive and ineffective robocalls of his voice instead of launching a highly effective and virtually free barrage of emails to millions of voters?  And why engage in public shenanigans that, though outwardly anti-Trump, are more likely to help Trump – something any serious pundit would have realized.
You almost have to wonder if Donald Trump, who for forty years has proven himself to be a marketing machine without compare, may have figured out the greatest marketing play of all time…
 Source: AAN
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