Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) are battling for the establishment vote in the Breitbart Primary.
Breitbart Primary voters do not appear to like most establishment candidates, but Romney and Rubio were the two establishment-leaning politicians who did the best in September’s voting.
The Breitbart Primary was a leading indicator of the rise of non-politicians and anti-establishment candidates, as Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina had seen considerably better numbers in the Breitbart Primary before they started to surge in state and national polls. The Breitbart Primary also foreshadowed how difficult it would be for establishment candidates to gain traction in this election cycle. In previous Breitbart Primary voting, establishment candidates Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) did not even get 1% combined.
Looking back on his 2012 presidential run at Wednesday’s Washington Ideas Forum, Romney told The Atlantic’s James Bennet, “I wish I could do it again.” Bennet then reportedly interjected, “You could!” Romney flirted with running again in 2016 before exiting the stage and opting against a third White House run.
Last week in Oklahoma, Trump said that “Mitt Romney let us down” in losing a winnable election in 2012. Trump said Romney did not energize working-class voters and “millions and millions of people stayed home because they were not energized”
“If the people were energized in the last election Romney would have won but they weren’t,” Trump said. “They’re energized now.”
After Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker exited the race, Rubio, looking to emerge as the anti-Trump alternative, has been attacking Trump. In recent days, Rubio has said that Trump “doesn’t know anything about policy” and is “sensitive” and “thin-skinned.” The Florida Senator also told left-leaning NPR that he wanted to be left out of Trump’s “freak show.”
Trump has attacked Rubio for being an absentee Senator and using the Florida Republican Party’s credit card to make personal purchases. He has also said that “amnesty” Rubio, who was the face of the Senate’s Gang of Eight that tried to pass a massive comprehensive amnesty bill that the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of the American workers, is “weak” on immigration and, unlike Trump, “totally controlled by lobbyists and special interests.”
The Breitbart Primary is reset each month, and readers are encouraged to vote in October’s Breitbart Primary here.