Now, the Mitt Romney diaspora — an army of former aides and advisers from Romney’s long political career — are arrayed among a host of Republican presidential campaigns. But, through no concerted effort, they are curiously aligned once again in common cause, a stem-to-stern effort that has united old comrades even as they nominally play for different teams: stopping Donald Trump.
“It’s a common goal and not just for Romney people, but for anyone invested in Republicanism, conservatism, and anyone who gives a flying [expletive] about what we’re trying to do here. Even if you’re not getting paid, this isn’t good for anybody,” he said.
“It would be ironic if it wasn’t like every single person in the political wing who can stare more than five seconds into the future wasn’t mortified or petrified at the prospect of Trump being the nominee,” said Florida-based GOP strategist Rick Wilson who called a Trump nomination “an existential threat” to the party.
Trump, soaring to the top of both national and early-state polls, has exercised a centrifugal force on much of the rest of the 17-candidate Republican field. At the same time, he has worried establishment Republicans who complain that he is rendering the Republican brand less viable in a general election, regardless of who winds up with the nomination.
Some of them go back to 2002, the win. Others slogged through Iowa, twice, and rode aboard the Mitt Mobile. In 2012, they were so close to the White House they could taste it.