If there were a way Mitt Romney could have gotten out of endorsing President Barack Obama’s proposed fast track trade authority without implicitly endorsing Obama, man, he’d have done in it last night’s Facebook post.
“It probably wouldn’t be a bad rule of thumb to oppose anything President Obama supports,” the 2012 runner-up wrote Monday evening. “But Trade Promotion Authority is an exception.”
“Admittedly, his ham-handed rally at Nike gives pause,” Romney continued. “He should instead have visited New Balance, which still makes some of its shoes in the United States. But putting Obama’s missteps aside, TPA is good for America.”
Romney wasn’t done. “I can’t be sure that President Obama can negotiate a trade deal that’s good for America, but I am sure that the Republican Congress will turn down one that’s not,” he wrote.
The fast track authority being voted on today would give Congress the ability to pass proposed trade deals, like the upcoming Trans Pacific Partnership, with a simple majority vote and without amendments, precluding potential opposition. That opposition has most vocally come in the form of progressive Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who point out that Obama hasn’t even released the deal he wants fast track authority to pass.