Former governor and 2012 Republican presidential Mitt Romney returned to the national political stage on Thursday to deliver an impassioned speech against Donald Trump. Romney said that Trump has neither the “the temperament nor the judgement to be president.” The speech comes as the Republican establishment makes a renewed push to avoid Trump as the Republican nominee. Party leaders feel that Trump could cost them down the ballot, especially as they are playing defense with the Senate this cycle.
Romney did not endorse any specific candidate, but rather the notion of strategic voting. Voting for Governor John Kasich in his home state of Ohio, Senator Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida, and for Senator Ted Cruz where he is strong. This strategic voting would serve to primarily deprive Trump of delegates and not split the non-Trump vote share as much. Polling indicates both Kasich and Rubio could lose their home states.
Romney went right to Trump’s appeal and tried to tear down his talking points. On Trump’s business record, he pointed out the many failures of Trump, “His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it. And what ever happened to Trump Airlines? How about Trump University? And then there’s Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks, and Trump Mortgage? A business genius he is not.”
This attack seemed to get to Trump as he took the time to respond to Romney’s complaints. He said that Romney was a “failed candidate” and pointed out that Romney accepted his endorsement in 2012. “I could have said Mitt drop to your knees and he would have dropped to his knees,” Trump said.
Romney responded to this on Twitter by saying if Trump had said in 2012 what he is saying now, he would not have had accepted the endorsement.