Romney-Trump Fundraiser Keeps 'Freakshow' Alive
Conservatives not happy about tonight's event
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2012 11:48 AM CDT
Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in Las Vegas, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, to endorse Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, center, accompanied by Romney's wife Ann.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney and Donald Trump will appear together at a Las Vegas fundraiser tonight, a controversial move causing pundits to raise their eyebrows:

  • "There was a certain freakshow atmosphere to the Republican primaries of the past six months or so. Now that is kind of over. The show is over," conservative columnist Peggy Noonan said on CBS This Morning today. Trump "was part of the freakshow aspect," she continued, so doing a fundraiser with him is a "mistake" on Romney's part: "This is a good time for him to differentiate himself from the stranger aspects of the Republican race."
  • Indeed, many conservatives are concerned about the move—and Democrats are gleeful, BuzzFeed notes. The Obama campaign released a video today capitalizing on the "freakshow" theme, with circus music accompanying some of Trump's controversial comments.

  • In the Washington Post, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite notes that Romney's association with Trump is particularly troubling in light of Trump's continued "birther fantasies" about President Obama. "It is no secret that 'birtherism' is racial code for 'he’s not one of us,'" she writes. "Trump’s function in the Romney campaign seems to be precisely to play the race card through birtherism."
  • Defending the fundraiser, Romney noted that he "need[s] to get 50.1% or more" of the vote. "It‘s fine that Romney won’t distance himself from the sideshow Trump has intentionally become of this election, but to essentially come out and say, 'Bare with me while I get the minimum number of votes to get elected' is the worst way Romney could possibly respond," writes Eddie Scarry on the Blaze.
  • Juli Weiner at Vanity Fair has an amusing take on that same quote, imagining who else Romney might do a fundraiser with using that same justification. Perhaps Casey Anthony? "I need to get 50.1% or more and Florida is a swing state!" Click for more.