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Mitt Romney to be Donald Trump's latest political suitor

September 26, 2011|By James Oliphant

Fresh off a victory in the Michigan straw poll, Mitt Romney will be reaching out to another sizable part of the Republican base Monday -- Donald Trump.

Romney will be meeting with His Trumpness in New York on Monday afternoon, becoming the latest GOP presidential aspirant to court the developer/TV host/former potential candidate/birth certificate investigator.

Rick Perry dined with Trump earlier this month at pricey, exclusive Jean-Georges in Manhattan. (You might recall that in June, Trump and Sarah Palin shared some slices of pizza in Times Square. Read into that what you will.) Michele Bachmann has also met with the Donald and plans to do so again.

Why court the blessings of Trump? That’s a good question. Well, for one thing, there are still those out there who believe Trump should be president of the United States. There’s a whole website and everything. (It includes items such as “Trump Answers Boy’s Prayer for New Bike.”) For another, say what you will about the man, but he has a platform. He can pretty much show up on Piers Morgan’s CNN show or Fox News just about whenever he likes. (And don’t forget “Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC. Don’t worry. He’s not going to let you forget it.) Third, he has money. And he knows other people with money. Presidential candidates like money.

But Democrats are just as eager to associate Trump with the GOP, as the candidates seem to be to meet with him. Part of it is that it makes Perry, Romney and the like look a little less, well, serious. The other is that Trump is sort of the epitome of the fatcatness that Democrats argue the GOP protects. (This is what GOP calls "class warfare.")

The Democratic National Committee, in fact, has released a video in advance of the Romney-Trump summit, imaginatively titled “You’re Fired” that paints both men as uber-capitalists who care little about the middle-class, education, Medicare or Social Security.

Romney is on a small roll. He was widely viewed as handily winning the Fox News-Google debate Thursday night while his top rival, Perry, turned in a shaky performance. Then Perry lost a Florida straw poll he had been expected to win to Herman Cain. On Sunday, Romney trounced Perry and all others in a straw poll in his home state of Michigan.

But can he win the coveted Trump endorsement? If there’s one thing to be sure of, it’s that Trump will keep America in suspense as long as possible before answering that question.


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