REAL BUSINESS BUZZ

  • Real Salt Lake dominates FC Dallas, but woodwork leads to disappointing home draw
    by James Edward on October 25, 2020 at 4:47 am

    Real Salt Lake forward Douglas Martinez (12) rushes to the ball against FC Dallas defender Bressan (4) during an MLS soccer game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. | Yukai Peng, Deseret News SANDY — Left post, crossbar, right post. That about sums up another frustrating night for Real Salt Lake in 2020. RSL dominated play against visiting FC Dallas on Saturday — especially in the first half as it peppered keeper Jimmy Maurer with 18 shots — but as has been the case on many nights this season, the finishing quality wasn’t there and the teams shared the points in a scoreless draw. Adding to the frustration, Douglas Martinez, Pablo Ruiz and Damir Kreilach all hit the woodwork for RSL in a match that could’ve easily ended 3-0 had the finishing been to the left or right an inch or two. Martinez’s miss was the most painful, a point-blank chance on a half-volley after a perfect cross from Aaron Herrera near the post that a striker should realistically finish nine out of 10 times. Instead, Martinez smashed it off the post. His miss came in the seventh minute, and with the field seemingly tilted in RSL’s favor the entire first half, a goal seemed like an inevitability. It never came. While getting a point salvaged something on the night, ties are not going to help RSL climb above the playoff line from its current ninth-place position. “We are disappointed. It’s not necessarily just the result itself. I think it’s the just the fact that we had so many chances and we didn’t win the game. We need to be able to capitalize on those. So, disappointed we weren’t able to get the three points cause overall it feels like a game we kind of dominated and deserved more from,” said RSL defender Nedum Onuoha. The gap between ninth-place RSL and eight-place Vancouver increased to two points on Saturday as the Whitecaps topped San Jose 2-1 with a pair of second-half goals. San Jose remained in seventh place with the loss just two points ahead of RSL as well, with the two teams squaring off Wednesday in San Jose. “Head up, cause now San Jose is a team that comes swinging every single game,” said RSL coach Freddy Juarez. RSL will hope to replicate the same type of build-up in the attack that it did on Saturday, just with better finishing boots. It ended up outshooting FC Dallas 24-8. “I think we know there’s work to do and we need to win games. Now we’ve got to go on the road our next two games, and our season is on the line,” said keeper Andrew Putna. “We know what we have to do, and if we don’t get the results in the three upcoming games, we know our fate.” RSL’s attack was buzzing in the first half as it created 18 shots, but remarkably it failed to put any of them away. After Martinez’s miss, Ruiz banged his own long-range left-footed shot off the crossbar in the 34th minute. Later in the second half, Kreilach curled a shot off the outside of the right post. Following the great first half, the chances weren’t nearly as frequent in the second, particularly later in the match after FC Dallas went to a five-man backline to lock things up and walk away with the point. At the other end, FC Dallas’ attack rarely threatened. “Overall I thought the defending commitment from the whole group, I thought our back line was very good in duels, I thought they were good in the collective. It was overall a good performance,” said Juarez. Albert Rusnak was back in the starring 11 for RSL after missing the previous four matches while away with the Slovakian National Team for Euro qualifying and Nations League matches. “Solid performance. I think we could’ve got him involved on the ball a little bit more in the first half. We kind of corrected that in the second half. Overall, it was good. It was nice to have him back. He offers some quality in there where he can get into tight areas and distribute the ball and start attacks,” said Juarez. If RSL ends up qualifying for the MLS playoffs, there’s a good chance Rusnak may be unavailable again, as Slovakia has three more matches in those same two competitions Nov. 12-18. First RSL needs to qualify for the playoffs, and dropping points at home won’t help matters.

  • ‘Tough sledding’ for Utah State in season-opening blowout loss at Boise State
    by Jody Genessy on October 25, 2020 at 4:27 am

    Utah State running back Jaylen Warren (20) runs around the block of Utah State tight end Bryce Mortenson (86) against the Boise State defense in the second half in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Boise, Idaho.Boise State won 42-13. | Steve Conner, AP Utah State opened the funky 2020 football season Saturday night without their once-in-a-generation quarterback, their leading rusher, their top receiver and their standout linebacker from last year’s team. Making things worse, the Aggies had to open up on the road against the Boise State Broncos at Albertsons Stadium, where they haven’t won since last millennium. The degree of difficulty was quite high for their first game, and it showed in a 42-13 loss to the Mountain West Conference favorites. “We lost the battle on both sides of the line of scrimmage miserably most of the evening, right?” Utah State coach Gary Andersen said. “And that’s all of us. That’s not pointing the finger at anybody except me. Boise is very physical up front on both sides of the football. That showed.” The good news for the Aggies, if we’re searching for a silver lining, is that they were only outscored by one point in the second half. That, however, didn’t come close to making up for the bad news that developed in the first half as the Broncos completely stifled the Aggies’ offense while racking up 28 points for a four-touchdown lead at halftime. “Obviously, we had a few mental mistakes,” USU running back Jaylen Warren said. That first half was especially brutal for the Aggies. They only managed to gain 45 yards of offense with one first down compared to a whopping 304 offensive yards and 17 first downs by the defending league champions. “Some self-inflicted wounds stopped us from being able to move the ball in the first half,” said Andersen, whose offense only had 12 yards in the first quarter. Utah State made things interesting in the second half, pulling within 15 points early in the fourth quarter. Warren started the comeback attempt by capping a 16-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. A few minutes later, the Aggies, who finished with 203 yards of offense, were handed a field-position gift after Boise State punter Joel Velazquez booted the ball into the back of one of his upmen. The ball was then deflected deep into Broncos’ territory, on the 21-yard line, after what was listed as a minus-38-yard punt. Six players later, Warren pounded the football into the end zone from 2 yards out to cut the lead to 28-13 (the PAT was doinked off of the crossbar by kicker Nels Haltom). “The first half we were flat,” Warren said, “but I’m glad we kind of came up from that.” However, the Broncos quickly responded to put things away as receiver Khalil Shakir sliced his way through the Aggies’ defense for an 18-yard touchdown and a commanding 35-13 lead with 8:29 remaining. It was the second sweet TD reception for Shakir, who hauled in a 52-yard bomb in the first half. “I thought we came out and we were able to get ourselves back in it, give ourselves a chance to be able to cut it to a one-score game,” Andersen said. “But obviously Boise came back and did what they did to score.” USU starting quarterback Jason Shelley, a transfer from Utah, couldn’t get anything going in his Aggie debut in large part to a rough night for his offensive line. The junior finished hitting 14 of 27 passes for 92 yards with an interception on the final play of the game. Warren was a bright spot on an otherwise dreary night for Utah State. He used a career-high 23 carries to rush for 89 yards and two touchdowns. On the other end, the visitors couldn’t contain quarterback Hank Bachmeier and struggled to tackle while falling down big early, which included giving up three touchdowns in the second quarter. The offensive line struggled mightily against the Broncos’ defensive front, something Andersen acknowledged made it nearly impossible for Shelley to effectively run the offense. “It was tough sledding in there from a protection standpoint,” Andersen said. “When you’ve got guys whistling around your ear in 1.5 seconds, Peyton Manning in his prime is going to have a hard time making things happen. … We’ve got to solve the protection up front to give any quarterback in the nation a chance to throw the ball and be able to do some things effectively.” Bachmeier finished with 268 yards — most of which came in the first half — on 20-of-28 passing with three touchdowns to lead a Boise State squad that looks like it didn’t skip a beat after winning 12 games last season. The Broncos ended up with 450 yards of offense and had 25 first downs compared to just 12 for USU. Returning running back George Holani also played well again for the Broncos with 100 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. “They’re a high-caliber offense. They do what they do well … shifts in motion,” said USU inside linebacker Cash Gilliam, who had a career-high eight tackles. “We feel that we were prepared coming into the game. They are at the top of the food chain right now.”

  • Are Trump and Biden chasing a voting bloc that doesn’t exist?
    by Mya Jaradat on October 25, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Photo illustration by Michelle Budge Amid discussion of the presidential candidates courting the Catholic vote, we ask if the Catholic vote truly exists Between a Catholic presidential candidate and the widely held idea that “as go Catholics, so goes the nation,” this election cycle has seen much ado about the “Catholic vote.” Both Trump and Biden hope to woo the “Catholic vote,” with the latter playing up his Catholic credentials and the former possibly making a bid for Catholic support by nominating former Notre Dame law professor Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court. But does a Catholic voting bloc really exist? Academics have said no for the past two decades. “That’s not to say that Catholic voting is unimportant in elections. But we’re talking about one-fifth (of the nation) that reflect voting patterns of the rest of the country and that as a group, together, is not particularly distinctive,” says Mark Rozell, founding dean of George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. So rather than a decisive national voting bloc, Catholics instead make up a representative sample of American voters. Hence, the adage about the “Catholic vote” reflecting the national results holds true. But, paradoxically, this nonexistent “Catholic vote” remains important — with one scholar calling them the “ultimate swing vote” — particularly on a state level. Post-election data showed Catholic voters delivered two decisive battleground states to Trump in 2016. And they could do the same for either candidate this year. Experts explain that further complicating efforts to single out a Catholic is that they are not single-issue voters going to the polls to fight abortion as they are sometimes depicted in news media. Today the “Catholic vote” is split more or less evenly between the two major parties. Those who sit on the Republican side of the aisle are predominantly white, while minorities in the faith, for the most part, identify as Democrats. So, what do these two often diametrically opposed Catholic votes mean for the 2020 election? Understanding “Catholic vote” Among the academics frustrated by the often mentioned “Catholic vote” is Michele Margolis, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of “From Politics to the Pews: How Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity.” Just as “we’ve become better about saying ‘white evangelicals,’” says Margolis, so do we need to talk about “the ethnic differences being masked when we talk about the Catholic vote. … There’s this huge gap between white and Hispanics (that is) muddled over when we talk about the ‘Catholic vote.’” Margolis also points out that there are differences between those who attend church regularly versus those who are Catholic in name only. While the term “Catholic vote” was accurate 30 years ago, Margolis says, when “9 out of 10” were white, “now it’s about 55%” white. However, white Catholics have a bigger impact because minority Catholics “don’t vote at the same rate,” Margolis says. “Hispanic Catholics are 45% of the Catholic community but they’re not 45% of the Catholic electorate.” The percentage of white Catholics “is going to continue to drop,” Margolis adds. “Among Catholics under 30, 52% are Hispanic. When we talk about the Catholic vote moving forward, it is becoming less and less white.” As many Hispanics vote Democrat, does that mean that the Catholic vote will become Democratic as demographics shift? While many Hispanics are Catholic, Protestant evangelicalism is on the rise among them. And while many Hispanic Catholics do, indeed, vote Democrat, Florida’s large and powerful population of Cuban Republicans — many of whom are Catholic — underscores how hard it is to make generalizations about the Latinx community and its future impact on American politics. When it comes to the issues that inform voting choices, most Catholics tend to follow their political party’s platform over the church’s stance, according to data from Pew Research Center. For example, when it comes to abortion, most Catholics believe it to be “morally wrong,” but a majority also believe it should be legal, Pew reports. And for many Catholics, the phrase “pro-life” doesn’t just mean “anti-abortion.” Rather, it signals a holistic philosophy that aligns some with the Democrats — as shown by the words of one Catholic voter speaking at a recent panel on “Faithful Citizenship.” Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News The sanctuary in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ogden is pictured on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. The church is getting a new roof thanks to a donation from the estate of a deceased parishioner.It’s not the Catholic vote that matters. It’s Catholic voters. “I have long said and written in my publications that there is really no such thing as a quote unquote Catholic vote,” says Rozell, of George Mason University and the author or editor of over two dozen books about politics and religion, among other topics. Historically, there was more of a solidified Catholic vote, he explains, particularly when most Catholics were urban immigrants working blue-collar jobs. Back then, they joined labor unions and aligned more with the Democratic Party. But as they moved on and up, their loyalties began to shift. More cultural shifts in the 1960s and 1970s began to chip away at the “Catholic vote” and then came the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling legalizing abortion, which forced them confront a central tenet of their faith. Today the “Catholic vote” needs to be broken down into subgroups, Rozell says. And though there is no Catholic vote, it still matters, as E.J. Dionne wrote for the Brookings Institution back in 2000. “There is no ‘Catholic vote’ in the sense of a bloc that moves predictably toward one party or the other,” he said. “Catholics are the ultimate swing vote.” “Catholics are also the ultimate ‘cross-pressured’ group,” Dionne explained two decades ago. “Many blue-collar and lower-middle-class Catholics are tugged toward the Democrats on issues of social justice and workers’ rights; but when it comes to family and cultural values, including abortion, they lean toward the Republicans. … These pressures and ambivalences make Catholics potentially disruptive for both parties.” But while there still isn’t a national, monolithic “Catholic vote,” there are some states where there are enough Catholics to make a difference, according to Mark M. Gray, a professor at Georgetown and director of Catholic Polls at Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. “What I think it is safe to say about 2016 is that the Catholic vote split and we are not really sure which candidate had an advantage. However, when you look at specific states in the exit polls you see some states in the Midwest and Florida where Catholics did carry Trump to a win,” Gray told the Deseret News in an email. Gray points to two states in particular that are also battlegrounds this year — Michigan and Florida — arguing that Trump couldn’t have carried those states, and thus the Electoral College, without appealing to Catholic voters. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News Bishop Oscar Solis and Deacon Guillermo Mendez bless palms at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 5, 2020.What are Catholic voters talking about today? A “Faithful Citizenship” panel hosted by Georgetown University last week offered a glimpse at how Catholic voters themselves are approaching the 2020 election. Mary FioRito is the Cardinal George fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and an attorney by training. For much of her life, FioRito was an ardent Democrat. But she’s voted Republican in recent years. “For me,” FioRito continues, “it’s not so much a vote for Trump but when I look at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ platform, they are not neutral on abortion.” She calls some Democratic politicians’ stance on the issue “the kind of extremism that pushed a lifelong Democrat like me into voting for President Trump.” But Karina DeAvila says it’s “naive and almost irresponsible to think that there is only one issue that defines an election.” The daughter of Mexican immigrants, DeAvila is the vice president of the Young Democrats of Will County, Illinois. While the Trump administration has stood against abortion, she says, “it has restored the federal death penalty,” created conditions that endanger the lives of immigrants and refugees, and seeks “to take away health care” from the neediest. “The Democrats aren’t perfect,” she contends. “But Biden is the best choice that Catholics and the American people have in 2020.” John Carr, founder and director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, says he identifies with both FioRito and DeAvila’s positions. “What’s a pro-life, social justice … Catholic to do?” he asks. “For me, there are two intrinsic evils that are front and center: one is abortion, one is racism,” says Carr, adding that Trump’s immigration policies have deepened racial divides in the country. “For me, electing the president who will fight racism — not make it worse — is the moral imperative,” Carr says, adding, “I vote for him (Biden) in spite of his position on abortion and that imposes responsibilities on me to resist that policy agenda if he becomes president.” Carr, who served as a director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for more than two decades and who helped bishops write “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States,” says that “Forming Consciences” focuses on “prudence and conscience:” “Conscience, what we hear in our heart — what our faith compels us to do — and prudence, how we act on it,” Carr explains, “They (the bishops) outlined in a real sense what the church should be: political but not partisan, principled but not ideological, civil but not silent, and engaged but not used.” He adds, “It turns out that the most countercultural thing the church teaches in this area may not be that all life is sacred, it may not be that the poor ought to come first, or that war ought to be a last resort, it’s that politics is a good thing and we have an obligation to participate.”

  • Why do we like to be scared? How horror movies and haunted houses might help us get through 2020
    by Valerie Jones on October 25, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Employees scan tickets and put on wristbands at Nightmare on 13th in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. | Adam Fondren, Deseret News During a year when more Americans say they’re experiencing stress and anxiety, what’s the appeal of horror movies, haunted houses and being scared? Is Halloween really scarier than the year 2020? Halloween is the time of year for haunted houses, horror movies and swapping scary stories. But this year, it’s coming at a time when more people are experiencing stress and anxiety about the real world. The upcoming presidential election has been especially divisive this year, with anger and hostility spreading on social media and beyond, and it’s taking its toll on Americans. More Americans than ever — 68%, or two-thirds of adults — say that the election is a source of “significant stress,” according to a recent survey for the American Psychological Association. And increased stress and anxiety has been ongoing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as NPR recently reported. “For many folks, this year feels like things are way beyond their control,” Jessica Stern, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at NYU Langone Health, told NBC’s “Today” show. But even in the midst of these real-world concerns, people still seem to be seeking out fictional scares. A number of new horror movies have debuted in the past month, and Netflix’s new series “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is currently the most-watched show on the platform in the U.S. Meanwhile, a number of haunted houses are finding creative ways to open safely and still provide scares during the pandemic. “We wanted to provide people with something to do in a safe way so that they could escape the real nightmares of the world for an hour or so, and come have a fun time in fake nightmares while forgetting about what’s going on outside,” Jake Mabey, general manager of Nightmare on 13th in Salt Lake City, told the Deseret News earlier this month. During a year of more stress and anxiety, what is it about being scared that we find appealing? Why do people like being scared, and is there a benefit to relieving the stress of 2020 with horror movies and haunted houses? People like the feeling of being scared for different reasons, according to Coltan Scrivner, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Human Development at The University of Chicago and one of the researchers on a recent study of horror movie fans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people are “adrenaline junkies,” according to Scrivner. People who enjoy skydiving or bungee jumping might get a similar “rush” from watching a scary movie or going to a haunted house. Others are what Scrivner calls “morbidly curious.” People who are morbidly curious like to learn about dangerous situations, which might lead to an interest in serial killers, the “true crime” genre, or even the supernatural. Of course, not everyone enjoys being scared. There are plenty of people who avoid horror movies and other intense situations. Those people might be more “sensitive” to adrenaline, Scrivner said. While some people are able to “reframe” or “reinterpret” adrenaline as excitement, others experience it as anxiety. But for people who do seek out scary experiences, there might be a benefit. A recent study by Scrivner and other researchers found that people who reported being fans of horror movies were experiencing less “psychological distress” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, horror fans reported fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, such as irritability and sleeplessness. There are a couple of possible explanations for why that’s the case, according to Scrivner. One possibility is that people who watch a lot of horror movies or go to haunted houses have more practice experiencing and regulating fear. “They’re sort of learning what it feels like to be afraid, or learning what it feels like to be anxious, or perhaps be better at overcoming that feeling of fear and anxiety when it happens in the real world,” Scrivner explained. AMC, Gene Page, Associated Press In this publicity photo released by AMC, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes is shown in a scene from “The Walking Dead.” A recent study found that people who say they are fans of horror movies, including zombies, have experienced less “psychological distress” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another explanation is that horror movie fans experience the films like a “simulation” for real world events. For example, though zombies don’t exist in real life, zombie movies can still express themes that are similar to what people are going through. Zombie movies are “more extreme, but conceptually, they’re kind of similar” to certain aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Scrivner. “There’s an infection going around. People are maybe not as trustworthy as they used to be. Institutions that (people) used to rely on are now either not working or closed. And so it could be the case, too, that people who’ve seen a lot of these movies, they’re not taken by surprise quite as much.” This isn’t just true of zombie movies. Many horror movies aren’t just trying to scare you — they’re raising a lot of deeper questions, according to Dr. Carl Sederholm, a professor of English at Brigham Young University. Those questions can range from psychological — like what sorts of things scare us and why — to issues of race, gender or class. Some people seek out scary stories or experiences in order to grapple with those sorts of questions, according to Sederholm. He calls it “the puzzle of horror.” “What’s going on in my brain when I’m experiencing fear? And is it touching a nerve? Is it touching close to home? Is there something that upsets me that I haven’t resolved that horror is reminding me of?” Horror is not a new genre. In fact, Sederholm says that elements of horror can be traced back to ancient sources. But while many of humanity’s fears have stayed the same over time — like a fear of death — the approach that stories take to those fears have changed. For example, more recent films like “Get Out” and “The Invisible Man” have begun exploring issues of race and gender through a horror lens. Other new horror movies seem to be trending toward exploring more psychological issues. Universal Pictures Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington in a scene from “Get Out.”Some of these new movies are using horror in a metaphorical way to explore issues like addiction, dysfunction, psychological challenges and traumas, according to Sederholm. “In the broadest sense, I think that horror has gone from external to internal,” Sederholm said. “I think that instead of having the Wolf Man chase you, you have a Boogeyman chase you and then you have your own psyche kind of chase you.” So what about the year 2020? Scrivner is currently doing research at a haunted house in Denmark, which, he says, has already been very popular with visitors this year. “Even though there are a lot of crazy things going on now, the haunt sold out. People are ready to get out and do these kinds of things,” Scrivner said. Though not for everyone, Scrivner says he believes there could be some benefit in seeking out scary experiences this year, when so many people are already experiencing some worry or anxiety. “Some people find relief in a kind of outlet for their fears or for their anxiety,” he explained. And during a stressful time, watching a horror movie might be more uplifting than you think. “I think that one of the things about horror that surprises a lot of people is that there is a certain amount of hope,” said Sederholm, the BYU professor. “In those narratives, even though a lot of people die, and a lot of people suffer in various ways, there are survivors.” While horror can sometimes be associated with monsters and supernatural creatures, Sederholm says that “horror is mostly about the human” and the strength that characters show in facing overwhelming challenges. “They’re not inspirational stories in the same sense (as other stories), but they do suggest that we do have the capacity to rise above the very, very worst that we experience or that we can imagine.”

  • What did Mitt Romney get right and wrong in his infamous 2016 speech against Donald Trump?
    by Dennis Romboy on October 25, 2020 at 4:00 am

    In this March 3, 2016, file photo, Mitt Romney addresses the Hinckley Institute of Politics regarding the 2016 presidential race at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News SALT LAKE CITY — On March 3, 2016, Mitt Romney unleashed an unprecedented verbal attack on fellow Republican Donald Trump in a speech at the University of Utah. Romney didn’t hold back against the then-GOP presidential front-runner in his 17 minutes on stage before a standing room-only crowd at Libby Gardner Hall. As New York Times political reporter Jonathan Martin wrote at the time: “Mitt Romney’s political assault on Donald J. Trump on Thursday was so savage that historians strained to recall any precedent in American politics, with a major party’s former nominee blistering his party’s leading presidential candidate in such a personal and sweeping fashion.” Romney’s verbal onslaught didn’t come out of nowhere. He had grown increasingly frustrated with Trump but refrained from any public rebuke outside of a few interviews and written statements. But Trump’s refusal to disavow the endorsement of David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, pushed Romney over the edge. As the Boston Globe reported a week after the speech, Romney felt he could no longer remain silent about the damage he believed Trump had wrought on the Republican Party. Something his son Josh mentioned while they were driving one afternoon stuck in his mind: What will you tell the grandkids? Kristin Murphy, Deseret News In this March 3, 2016, file photo, Mitt Romney addresses the Hinckley Institute of Politics regarding the 2016 presidential race at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.Romney decided on the spot in Utah that he would give a speech denouncing Trump, according to the Globe. Within hours, he poured months of frustration into a written draft of the speech he would deliver four days later. Speculation about what the 2012 GOP presidential nominee might have on his mind ran high among national and local media. The University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics credentialed more than 100 reporters and at least nine cable TV news trucks lined up outside the hall. Romney did not give the Hinckley Institute an advance copy of the speech, which turned out to be a scathing indictment of Trump as a “fraud’’ and “phony.’’ Those two words — fraud and phony — are the most remembered and most widely quoted of 2,145 words Romney uttered that day. But he also made some dire predictions about a Trump presidency that have gone largely overlooked. “And let me put it very plainly. If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished,” Romney said in the speech. Now, as Trump nears the end of his first term, is there any substance to what Romney said about the then-future president? What did Mitt Romney get right about Donald Trump? And what did he get wrong? “It is a fascinating speech to return to, and I think in a whole host of ways it is remarkably prescient in the sense that it lays out a set of issues that we certainly do seem to be confronting four years later,” said Chris Karpowitz, co-director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University. Former Republican Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, though, said Romney badly missed the mark. “Fortunately for the country and the Republican Party, Mitt Romney was wrong on almost all of his predictions,” said Chaffetz, an ardent Trump supporter who campaigned for Romney in the 2012 presidential election. “Romney was right on a few things. But by and large, he was wrong on 90% of it.” Hinckley Institute Director Jason Perry doesn’t think Romney — right or wrong — would have a different take four years later. “Even though I think Mitt Romney’s tone has changed, I don’t think he would change his speech much if he were giving it today,” he said. Romney declined to be interviewed for this story. Laura Seitz, Deseret News Brennan Williams waits in line to hear Mitt Romney address the Hinckley Institute of Politics on the state of the 2016 presidential race at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2016.“Sen. Romney’s actions since the speech speak for themselves,” said Liz Johnson, Romney spokeswoman. Since being elected to the Senate in 2018, he has continued to call out Trump on matters of character and leadership. He has also criticized some of the president’s policies, particularly on foreign affairs, while running legislation on issues he mentioned in the speech, including bills to preserve entitlements such as Social Security and drive down the national debt. Romney was the only Republican in the Senate impeachment trial to vote to convict Trump of abuse of power. Here’s a look at many of the elements of his speech and where things stand now. Prolonged recession “If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into a prolonged recession. … His tax plan in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements and to honestly address spending would balloon the deficit and the national debt.” The COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended almost everything Romney predicted regarding the economy. He is right about a recession, but wrong about the reason or reasons for it, said Natalie Gochnour, associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah and chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber. Romney said in his speech that tariffs, trade wars, a tax plan without entitlement reform, and the deficit under Trump would sink the U.S. economy into a “prolonged recession.” None of those factors are the cause of the current economic downturn, Gochnour said. The best way to get an accurate picture of Trump’s economic record is to look at it before the pandemic, she said, describing it as “sound and successful.” The U.S. was enjoying its longest sustained economic expansion in history at the time, with an unemployment rate in January of 3.5%. Gochnour, though, noted the Trump economy was part of the same economic expansion under President Barack Obama. “When I look at President Trump’s economic record pre-COVID I give him high marks for tax and regulatory reform and low marks for fiscal responsibility, including lack of entitlement reform and deficit spending, and trade policy,” Gochnour said. Significant trade tensions with both U.S. allies and countries such as China have arisen under Trump. Tariffs have disrupted international trade in a whole host of ways and ultimately that has been problematic for American farmers and American manufacturers and raised prices for American consumers, Karpowitz said. That wasn’t enough to derail what was a humming economy before the pandemic. But there’s no question Trump’s approach has caused disruptions and problems in international trade. The Trump administration would argue that it’s trying to get better trade outcomes. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has been a concrete success. “I do think you can find some progress but it’s accompanied by a lot of short-term anxiety and pain for segments of the economy like farmers when it comes to his trade policy,” Karpowitz said. Most conservatives and Republicans did not like using tariffs, but it’s been effective, according to Chaffetz. Prices, he said, did go up for a time in some sectors. “But the overarching trade objectives, I think, are still playing out and are moving in the right direction,” said Chaffetz, now a Fox News contributor. Chaffetz acknowledged that Trump hasn’t done anything to reform entitlements, address spending or reduce the national debt. The Republican tax cut the president championed will add nearly $2 trillion to the deficit. There’s no rainy day fund. There was no effort to cut back during good times. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News In this March 3, 2016, file photo, Mitt Romney shakes hands after addressing the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City regarding state of the 2016 presidential race.The tax cuts probably provided some additional energy to the economy but at the cost of significantly increasing the national debt. Romney has expressed support for the president’s domestic agenda, including lower taxes, lower regulation and lower bureaucracy, though he called himself more conservative when it comes to the nation’s growing deficit. Future less safe “And let me put it very plainly. If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished. … His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe.” From the beginning, Trump has been harsher with NATO allies than he has been with Russia or China, at least in terms of his personal discussions, though that’s not to suggest that the administration hasn’t done anything on foreign policy issues, Karpowitz said. But his benign treatment of authoritarian leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, who got a coveted face-to-face meeting with Trump, has produced no obvious positive results or benefits for the United States, he said. “There have been symbolic moments that could have been moments of progress, but in retrospect they haven’t been followed up with the kind of work and substantive agreements that would be necessary to capitalize on those symbolic moments,” Karpowitz said. Things could be worse, according to Thomas Wright, the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. “Trump has not (yet) blundered into a major security crisis or pulled out of NATO. Russia has not (yet) invaded the rest of Ukraine or other states. Xi is assertive internationally but not (yet) reckless,” he wrote recently, including the parenthetical statements. “Romney was prescient about Trump, just as he was about Vladimir Putin. He identified the unique risks of a Trump presidency early on and everything he predicted has come to pass, The United States is being pummeled by a pandemic, America’s alliances are hanging by a thread, and U.S. leadership has evaporated,” Wright said. National security adviser Robert O’Brien said Romney was right about a lot of things, including Russia, but he was “certainly wrong about President Trump’s foreign policy.” O’Brien, who worked on Romney’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, said Trump has stood up to China and is rallying U.S. allies to do the same. The president also destroyed the physical caliphate of ISIS, he said. Laura Seitz, Deseret News James Smith, center, a freshman at the University of Utah, watches a video of him shaking hands with Mitt Romney after Romney addressed the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2016.Getting tough with NATO resulted in nine allies paying $400 billion more for defense through 2024, he said, adding it’s a “massive” accomplishment that has been underreported. “There are people who don’t want to recognize the accomplishments because they fear that it would give credit to President Trump, and that’s a shame,” O’Brien said. Pulling American troops from Germany was a huge decision in that the U.S. is walking away from the role it has played in maintaining, supporting and being the core part of the post World War II peace, Karpowitz said. Romney called it a slap in the face to Germany at a time when the U.S. and its allies should be drawing closer in their mutual commitment to deter Russian and Chinese aggression. He has taken aim at Trump for “fawning” over Xi and getting “cozy” with dictators. Trump has also pulled troops from Syria and pushed U.S. allies around the world to pay more for the commitment of American forces to defend them. He has continued to try to make good on his vow to end U.S. involvement in “endless” foreign wars, though he vetoed legislation to do that in the Saudi-led civil war in Yemen. “There seems to be an extreme amount of uncertainty in the world right now. You add the normal tensions that exist, those that have developed over the past four years and you put the wrapper of COVID-19 around it, and things feel very unsafe and tenuous,” Perry said. Perhaps the biggest foreign policy win for the Trump administration is the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain formally establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. Trump hailed the agreements as an “important day for peace.” Laura Seitz, Deseret News Former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney greets audience members as he exits the auditorium after addressing the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah on the state of the 2016 presidential race in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2016.Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, pulled out of the Paris climate accord, moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and “yet was still able to forge a historic peace agreement with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates,” Chaffetz said. “I think the prospects of a volatile Middle East are much safer with Donald Trump than they ever were,” he said. A phony, a fraud “Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the members of the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.” Romney questioned Trump’s ability to rally the nation to a common cause. He invoked John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. Kennedy asked people to consider what they could do for their country. Lincoln drew upon the better angels of human nature to save the union, Romney said. He talked about presidents who put the interests of the country ahead of their own. Romney didn’t see a pandemic or racial unrest in the wake of a Black man dying under a white police officer’s knee, but recognized there would be crises to challenge the nation and the president, and believed that Trump wouldn’t be up to the task. Karpowitz said Trump has not been able to bring the country together in any substantial way. He focuses more on deflecting responsibility and blaming others for things that go wrong. “And that’s exactly what Mitt Romney predicted he would do,” Karpowitz said. “I think that’s part of what he meant when he talked about Donald Trump being a phony or a fraud. He’s not able to really do the substantive things that we expect presidents to do.” Chaffetz said there’s no question Trump has delivered on his promises. “No doubt Sen. Romney doesn’t like or appreciate President Trump’s style, but the president does get things done. Unconventional? Yes. Different? Yes. Unlike anything we’ve ever seen before? Yes. But it seems to work,” he said. “It’s crass, it’s unconventional but America loves it,” Chaffetz said. “Granted there are a lot of people that don’t. I get that.” Noteworthy were the comments of Gen. James Mattis, who resigned as the president’s secretary of defense in December 2018, and excoriated the president in a book released earlier this year: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis said. Clinton victory “A person so untrustworthy and dishonest as Hillary Clinton must not become president. Of course, a Trump nomination enables her victory.” Trump proved Romney and all the polls and prognosticators wrong with his improbable win in the 2016 election. Though Clinton won the popular vote by more than 3 million votes (the fifth time a victorious candidate for president has lost the popular vote), Trump won all the big swing states and the Electoral College votes that go with them to claim a 304 to 227 victory. Romney’s speech in March was intended to swing support for one of the remaining Republican primary candidates and came only days after Super Tuesday, when Trump won seven states, Ted Cruz won three states and Marco Rubio won one state. Clinton also solidified her lead over Bernie Sanders that week, winning seven states with Sanders winning four. Tax returns “We will only really know if he’s a real deal or a phony if he releases his tax returns. … I predict that there are more bombshells in his tax returns. … And I predict that despite his promise to do so, first made over a year ago, that he will never ever release his tax returns. Never — not the returns under audit; not even the returns that are no longer being audited. He has too much to hide.” A New York Times investigation of Trump’s finances revealed some bombshells. Trump paid no taxes in 11 of the 18 years between 2000 and 2017. In both 2016 and 2017, he paid only $750, the Times reported, citing more than two decades of tax-return data it said it obtained. He was able to do so both because many of his businesses report losing large amounts of money — which reduces his taxable income — and because he has engaged in questionable tax practices, the report found. Trump called the story “fake news.” In a series of tweets, Trump said, “Much of this information is already on file, but I have long said that I may release … Financial Statements, from the time I announced I was going to run for President, showing all properties, assets and debts. It is a very IMPRESSIVE Statement, and also shows that I am the only President on record to give up my yearly $400,000 plus Presidential Salary!” Julio Cortez, Associated Press In this Sept. 29, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump holds up his face mask during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.The president has guarded his tax returns to the U.S. Supreme Court and back. And further court wrangling likely means he’ll make it to the Nov. 3 election without releasing them. In a September 2016 presidential debate, Trump said he would release his returns as soon as a routine audit is finished. Four years later, the IRS is still working on it, the White House said in July. In a debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden, Trump again said he would release his returns but gave no timeline. Every sitting president’s returns are audited as a matter of routine. The IRS has long said that nothing prevents an individual from making tax returns public while an audit is underway. Every president since Jimmy Carter has voluntarily released his returns. Before he resigned from the House, Chaffetz and the late Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, of Maryland, were working on legislation to require presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns. “If you really wanted it done, Sen. Romney, introduce a bill,” Chaffetz said. Dishonesty “Dishonesty is Donald Trump’s hallmark.” Trump has made thousands of false or misleading statements during his nearly four years as president. The Washington Post Fact Checker column has tallied more than 20,000 untrue or misleading claims in its database as of July. But RealClear Politics contends that a cursory look at the Post database shows that the idea that Trump has told 20,000 “false or misleading” statements is itself false and misleading. Many of the total are redundancies that Trump has repeated over and over again. More problematic is that thousands of statements the Post labels as untrue or misleading are more properly considered the habitual verbal excess for a man known for his immoderate form of communication, according to RealClear Politics. After reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election last year, Romney delivered a scathing rebuke of Trump. “I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president,” he said. Judgment “He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president and his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.” Romney didn’t anticipate a pandemic or the economic and health devastation that COVID-19 would inflict on the country. But he did raise red flags about Trump’s ability to run the federal government effectively. “Those are the kinds of problems, even though the speech didn’t talk about anything like a pandemic, those are the kinds of concerns that Romney was raising,” Karpowitz said. Trump downplayed the virus and was slow to mount a national response. Romney recently noted that the U.S. has “5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s deaths due to COVID-19. And there’s no way to spin that in a positive light.” His temperament and judgment has also been called into question for tweeting and retweeting dubious claims and conspiracy theories, and for failing to call out white supremacy when given the chance during debates and speeches (after repeated questioning by Savannah Guthrie in a town hall-style interview earlier this month he did say, “I denounced white supremacy, OK?”). Chaffetz, who played golf with Trump a month ago, said the president is much different one-on-one than he is at a rally. He described Trump as “wicked smart” and “incredibly thoughtful” and someone who has a clear grasp of what’s happening “like nobody I’ve ever seen before.” A lot of people criticize Trump for the way he says things, but he should be winning awards for his openness and transparency, Chaffetz said. He gives people insight into exactly what he’s thinking, he said, adding that’s better than the overly polished, perfectly written, staff-driven press releases of past administrations. “Style and temperament matter to Mitt Romney,” Chaffetz said, “and to that end Donald Trump will never be Mitt Romney.” Kristin Murphy, Deseret News In this March 3, 2016, file phoot, Mitt Romney addresses the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City regarding the state of the 2016 presidential race.