Even if Mitt Romney hadn’t appeared on stage to collect it, there is nothing good that can come of Donald Trump’s endorsement of the former Massachusetts governor. Not only is the real-estate mogul unpopular with the country at large but he is thoroughly associated with the “birther” conspiracy—the belief that President Obama is not actually a natural-born citizen of the United States.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine why Romney would even want the endorsement—Trump isn’t a political force and doesn’t provide much in the way of supporters. At most, Trump has nice words to say about Romney, calling him “tough,” “sharp,” and “smart” in his remarks. That the likely Republican presidential nominee would actively court Trump—Huffington Post reports that the two have had several meetings—smacks of desperation more than anything else.
The good news is that the public doesn’t actually pay attention to the presidential race at this stage of the game. By the fall, when the general election begins in earnest, we will have forgotten about this, and Donald Trump will have returned to his usual position as an object of cultural mockery. Still, for Romney, it just doesn’t look very good.