CLEVELAND—Nearly five months ago, Mitt Romney gave one of the most remarkable speeches in American political history. Addressing an audience at the University of Utah, the 2012 Republican nominee for president and former governor of Massachusetts described Donald Trump, then the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, as utterly unfit to hold office—using words like "fake," "con man," and "fraud."
It didn’t work.
In Cleveland this week, Donald Trump became the Republican Party’s nominee in resounding fashion. And if anyone remembered Romney’s speech, they never brought it up. In fact, over the course of the Republican National Convention, I never even heard anyone mention Romney's name.
So when I crossed paths with Ron Kaufman, the Republican National Committeeman from Massachusetts and a longtime Romney confidant, I asked him to reflect on Romney’s speech and the emphatic failure of his message.
“Mitt Romney’s a very moral and direct person,” Kaufman, who’s now a vocal Trump supporter, told me. “Sometimes, the directness is [a] fault. But he felt what he felt. And it’s up to him.”