Saying he could no longer abide the burden of deceit, Mitt Romney announced last night that he is withdrawing from the presidential race.
The Republican nominee, who has been running for president since he was fourteen years-old, told a gathering of sobbing supporters at his Boston campaign headquarters that “he just couldn’t take it anymore — the smugness, the deceit, the gross distortions of the facts, the cheap racial innuendoes, the hypocrisy, the nauseating outright lying. Oh, the lying, the lying, the endless disgusting lying.
“My father brought me up to tell the truth and that’s what I’m going to do,” Mr. Romney told a hastily gathered press conference attended by a few disbelieving reporters and stunned supporters. Gone were the paste-on smile and the pathetic regular-guy pose as the former Massachusetts Governor, tears gathering in the corners of his eyes, tried to explain why he was withdrawing from his endless quest for the presidency only two months shy of the election.
“A couple of nights ago I was in bed and I heard the voice of my father, saying, ‘Hey, boy, I know you want to be President so bad you can hardly stand it, but, Mitt, was it worth turning yourself into a cheesy, two-faced, double-talking, flip-flopping, lying faker?’
“Well, you can imagine how I felt. I adored my father and to hear this from him was painful beyond description. It was like having Newt Gingrich call you a friend. It was like a Rush Limbaugh lecture on ethics and morals. What people admired most about my father was his integrity. He always told the truth, and it came to me that these days I almost never tell the truth.
“I had thought maybe if I could just win the presidency then I could go back to the time when I told the truth too, back when I was fourteen years-old. But then what’s-his-name — Ryan — came out of nowhere and started piling whoppers on my fibs and there was no chance, no hope, that I could ever pretend to be a truth-teller like my father unless I quit the game here and now.
“They’re saying I made a great speech at the convention and I could tell the crowd really liked it. The problem was that the whole speech was as phony as that look I get on my face when I’m trying to seem like a caring human being. Believe me, I hate that face as much as anybody else. And that walk of mine! Those little, mincing steps. They told me to walk that way to look more presidential. But it doesn’t look presidential at all; it looks stupid and I’m not going to do it anymore.
“I’ve been under increasing pressure to reveal my plans for the country — the economy, health care, Afghanistan, whatever. Well, here’s the truth — I don’t have a plan. I haven’t the slightest idea what to do about the economy or anything else. Ryan has a plan. It’s called The Ryan Plan, and he’s been shouting about it for a couple of years. His plan will fix the economy by doing away with everything except more tax breaks for rich people. I guess I could adopt his plan but there are at least two things wrong with that strategy: One, it’s the Ryan Plan, not the Romney Plan, and, two, it’s the worst plan I’ve ever seen.
“People say Mitt’ll fix the economy because he knows all about business and that’s how he got so rich. Well, here’s the truth: The reason I haven’t released my tax returns is that I don’t have any money. Bain Capital was a three-card-monte scheme that made a lot of noise but not much money. Best-paying job I ever had was Governor of Massachusetts. Nowadays, Sheldon Adelson gives me an allowance and all the rest of it — the houses, the cars, the boats — all that is owned by the RNC. “Heck, even my family is a fake. Those fine-looking young men — some of whom speak foreign languages — they’re not my sons. They’re Rick Santorum’s kids. On loan for the duration of the campaign. You know Rick and birth-control; he’s got about thirty kids and they’re having a hard time finding work.
“So that’s the story: No more fibs, no more distortions, no more empty promises. I feel like a man freed from prison. I feel great. And you know what? I don’t think I would have been a very good president anyway.”