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Here’s the surprising reason Romney just defied Trump on a judicial nominee

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is certainly not former President Barack Obama’s biggest fan, but he took a stand on Tuesday against the White House and in defense of his former 2012 opponent in a surprising show of respect.

He cast the only Republican vote against judicial nominee Michael Truncale, who had been selected to preside over the Eastern District of Texas. Truncale had called Obama an “un-American imposter” in 2011, an insult that plays into the racist conspiracy theories that the former president wasn’t really a U.S. citizen. Even apart from the troubling bigotry that this comment seems to reveal, it is also just a blatantly partisan attack from someone who hopes to hold a seat as a fair-minded federal judge.

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And yet, Truncale was confirmed in a vote of 49-46.

He told the Senate during his hearing that he does not endorse so-called “birther” theories that posit Obama’s real birthplace was Kenya, not Hawaii, but Romney still opposed him.

“He made particularly disparaging comments about President Obama. And as the Republican nominee for president, I just couldn’t subscribe to that in a federal judge,” Romney told Politico. “This was not a matter of qualifications or politics. This was something specifically to that issue as a former nominee of our party.”

It’s a particularly interesting issue to break with President Donald Trump on, given that Trump made his name in politics by actively stoking birtherism And during the time when Trump’s political profile was rising, Romney sought out and received Trump’s endorsement for president.

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But while the stand shows some integrity on Romney’s part, it’s hard to be sure how much credit to give him. He likely knew, after all, that his vote wouldn’t be the deciding factor in Truncale’s nomination. Showing some distance from Trump when the stakes are low may be an easy way for Romney to earn an unwarranted reputation for independence.


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‘The man who sold America’: Mitch McConnell’s mountain of political sins catalogued in devastating new profile

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Mitch McConnell finally has the power he's longed for since he was a 22-year-old intern for Sen. John Sherman, but his ruthless march to become Senate majority leader has seen him abandon almost all of his stated principles -- and earned him a lot of enemies.

The Kentucky Republican has been unpopular in his home state for years, but this summer has seen his approval rating plunge to 18 percent after MSNBC's Joe Scarborough tarred and feathered him with the nickname "Moscow Mitch," and he's increasingly seen as "the man who sold America," reported Rolling Stone.

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Sarah Sanders rages on Fox News that the ‘out-of-control’ media is ‘making stuff up’ about Trump

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In her new gig as a Fox News contributor, former White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders complained to host Sean Hannity that the "out-of-control" media makes "stuff up" about Donald Trump because they hate him for winning in 2016.

Sanders, who once told reporters that "countless" FBI agents had lost confidence in James Comey only to later tell investigators from special counsel Robert Mueller's office that she made it up, complained to the Fox host about the press being untrustworthy.

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There will be ‘nightmarish’ consequences if ‘buffoon’ Trump starts a war with Iran: Rick Wilson

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Longtime Republican strategist Rick Wilson is warning about the severe dangers that will come from President Donald Trump getting America into a war with Iran.

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"The mullahs know what they’re seeing when they behold Trump: a buffoon and a bluffer who just might be dumb enough to start a war with nightmarish consequences," Wilson writes. "Iran sees an American defense and intelligence apparatus run by toadies and temporary/acting/provisional/until-the-next-tweet nonentities whose tenures depend not on strategic insight or depth of knowledge, but on their ability to abase themselves before the Dear Leader."

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