On Monday, Glenn discussed on air – for the first time – a gift he gave to Mitt Romney just days before the 2012 election: A rare, first-edition copy of George Washington’s farewell address. Glenn explained that, despite their political differences, he wanted to congratulate Romney on running “an honorable race.” Furthermore, Glenn hoped to “cement in [Romney’s] mind” that if he were to win the election, he would “have to be George Washington,” the “guy who understands the principles.”
The weekend before the election, Glenn gave the artifact to Romney’s son Josh and explained its significance. Days, weeks, months, and now years have gone by, and Glenn never heard so much as a peep from Romney or his team. Having met Romney in the past and knowing him to be a gracious man, Glenn admitted on Monday that he was surprised he didn’t receive any sort of thank you from the presidential candidate.
As it turns out, however, Romney’s silence was not at all intentional. On radio this morning, Glenn explained that he received an email from Romney last night that shed a new light on the incident.
“Monday we were talking about… Mitt Romney trying to be the elder statesman and the ‘anti-Jim DeMint.’ – the Theodore Roosevelt of the party… And I just offhandedly said, ‘Farewell address is still in his hands.’ And Stu said, ‘Now you got to tell the story.’ So I did,” Glenn said. “Well, last night I get a note from Joe, who works for me. And he says, ‘Glenn, Mitt Romney sent you an email. It references your conversation on the air. My counsel would be to do as you always do and give a very measured response. I recommend the Abraham Lincoln method of a reply, rereading it and sending it.’ So I knew it wasn’t going to be good.’”
Glenn a small portion of Romney’s email:
I heard I failed to send you a thank you note for your precious book you kindly gave me during the campaign. I am so sorry for the error, and I’m afraid that when you learn the reason I failed to send you a note, you will be even less happy.
“He is an honorable man because I wouldn’t have wanted to write the letter to me,” Glenn said. “He never got the farewell address.”
That’s right. Romney never actually received the gift, which is why he never acknowledged it. More likely than not, the book was misplaced during the chaotic final days of the campaign. Even though the email made his “eyes bleed” from sadness, Glenn really admired Romney’s truthfulness.
“First of all, a man of honor, to have the balls to write that,” Glenn said. “He didn’t even lie and say we got so busy and it’s so great. He went the hardest possible route and said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to tell you [the truth]. It made my eyes bleed for about an hour. I got up at 3 o’clock this morning, and I read that note and I could not go back to sleep. I thought, ‘It’s a farewell address!’”
“I frankly think that makes it better – the fact that he didn’t get it,” Pat concluded. “I don’t like the tact that he says he’s going to be the anti-Jim DeMint… But there are so many things about him I really like this a lot, and I like this a lot.”