Former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked 2016 Republican frontrunner Donald Trump as “a fraud” on Thursday and urged primary voters to keep the outspoken New York billionaire from getting
Former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked 2016 Republican frontrunner Donald Trump as “a fraud” on Thursday and urged primary voters to keep the outspoken New York billionaire from getting the nomination, paving the way for possible horse trading at a party convention in July.
In an unusually harsh speech, party Mr Romney warned that former reality TV star Mr Trump would likely lose to possible Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the November 8 election if he becomes the Republican nominee.
Mr Trump’s rise has split the Republican party between mainstream figures like Romney, and Trump supporters who complain the party does not reflect their concerns about illegal immigration, the slow economic recovery and what they see as America’s diminishing role in the world.
That split widened when Mr Romney, the party nominee in 2012, urged Republican primary voters to vote tactically in different states to back Mr Trump’s opponents and block his path to the nomination.
“Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” said Mr Romney, 68, who did not endorse any candidate.
“I would vote for Marco Rubio in Florida, for John Kasich in Ohio, and for Ted Cruz or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr Trump in a given state,” he said. Mr Rubio is a US senator from Florida and Mr Kasich is the Ohio governor.
Mr Trump dismissed the former Massachusetts governor who lost to President Barack Obama four years ago.
“Mitt is a failed candidate. He failed. He failed horribly. He failed badly,” Mr Trump told a rally in Maine.