Thursday, March 3, 2016 9:13 pm
Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. 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—Mitt Romney
Romney, a Republican elder statesman and the nominee four years ago, urged Republicans in states that have not yet held nominating contests to back Trump’s opponents to stop his march to the nomination for the Nov. 8 election to succeed President Barack Obama.
“Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” said Romney, 68, in a hard-hitting speech.
“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,” he said.
Trump has made his party’s mainstream uneasy with his positions on trade and immigration, including his calls to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, deport 11 million illegal immigrants and temporarily bar Muslims from entering the country.
But Romney’s strategy risks backfiring by further energizing Trump’s supporters, who are angry with a party they see as not representing their views on illegal immigration, trade and America’s role in the world.
“If you’re Trump, this is like getting the good kind of Kryptonite,” Republican strategist Doug Heye said.
The real estate mogul dismissed Romney in television interviews and posts on Twitter, calling him “a failed candidate” who had “begged” him for an endorsement in 2012 when he eventually lost to Obama.
“Mitt Romney is a stiff,” Trump told NBC’s “Today” program.