In Interview, Romney Says He Understands Populist Anger that Propelled Trump to Nomination

Mitt Romney believes Donald Trump still has a chance of winning the presidential election, but if the New York billionaire loses the aftermath will be messy for the GOP and it will take a “once-in-a-generation” leader to bridge the ever-widening gulf between the populist and traditional wings of the Republican Party.

Reports BuzzFeed:

In the interview, Romney talks at length about the 2012 Republican primary, the general election against President Obama (“It was not until election night that we recognized we were not going to win”), why he believes Republican voters nominated Trump, what the future holds for Republican Party as an institution, and how he thinks it’s likely that Hillary Clinton will win, but he doesn’t think “it’s impossible that Donald Trump wins,” saying he has a 25% chance.

“We’re conflicted as a people right now,” he said. “To a certain degree, we feel patriotism, pride in our country, [and] hope for the future. We’re family-oriented, God-fearing, hardworking people. On the other hand, there’s a growing stream of anger and resentment, defeatism, victimhood, and a lot of people are sort of torn in both ways. We have our better angels and our darker angels, if you will.”

That anger dictates the choice nominee, according to Romney, who outlined a pretty specific vision of what Trump represents in the party:

“The voters chose a person who is on the populist spectrum, who is more isolationist both in foreign policy and economic policy than has been the party’s tradition. I think that stems from the fact that people are angry about the lack of progress on issues they care about. They watch TV and listen to radio and hear a lot of people saying it could better, [asking] why can’t the politicians get these done. They’re angry about the people that they’ve elected in the past — the establishment, if you will. This resentment towards those who are more successful, resentment towards politicians, resentment towards the elite and media led the voters to chose someone who was willing to fly in the face of the leaders of the country.”