By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
Mitt Romney announced in a Facebook post on Friday that he will be voting for Ted Cruz in Utah’s caucuses on Tuesday.
Romney also appeared to call for GOP candidate John Kasich of Ohio to bow out in order to give the Republican Party a better chance to block Trump’s bid for the nomination. Although Romney campaigned with Kasich before the Ohio primary Tuesday, which Kasich won, Romney emphasized in his Facebook post that Cruz was the party’s best chance to defeat Trump. “I like Gov. John Kasich. I have campaigned with him. He has a solid record as governor. I would have voted for him in Ohio,” Romney wrote. “But a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.”
According to the New York Times, Romney’s allies stressed that his vote is not an endorsement of Cruz. “Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism,” Romney wrote on Facebook. “Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these.”
— CNN (@CNN) March 18, 2016
Romney spoke out against Trump earlier this month, calling him “a fraud” and “a phony.” He has since worked to block Trump from securing the delegate count he needs to guarantee the nomination. His Facebook message is the most recent move in that direction. Romney stressed that Cruz was the most likely candidate to defeat Trump at the GOP convention in July.
“The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention,” he wrote. “At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.”
“I will vote for Senator Cruz and I encourage others to do so as well, so that we can have an open convention and nominate a Republican,” Romney concluded.
Trump took to Twitter to mock Romney saying, “Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the man who 'choked' and let us all down, is now endorsing Lyin' Ted Cruz. This is good for me!”
Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the man who "choked" and let us all down, is now endorsing Lyin' Ted Cruz. This is good for me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2016
John Kasich responded by saying that, despite Romney’s remarks, he was still the most likely candidate to win in November. “I’m the only one of the three that can win a general election and beat Hillary Clinton,” he said. “I campaigned with Mitt, I like Mitt, and I just, it’s a place where we disagree.”
Here’s what Rep. Brad Wenstrup has to say about Trump’s influence on the GOP primary race:
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