Romney called Trump a phony and a 'fraud'.
GOP Rallies to Quell Trump Insurgency
Trump Response: Mitt Romney ‘is a bad man’
BY ABQ FREE PRESS STAFF
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined the chorus of GOP establishment voices in condemning Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
Romney’s statement was part of a campaign by the GOP to rein Trump in, or in the alternative, to position one of his more moderate rivals for a late run for the remaining GOP delegates. Democrats are political pundits are calling the schism within the GOP as “the end of the Republican Party as we know it.”
Romney called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud,” and said Trump’s proposed economic policies would send the United States into another recession.
Romney’s attack followed a stern rebuke the day before by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan who condemned Trump’s rhetoric, which Democrats have labeled as hate speech.
“When I see something that runs counter to who we are as a party and as a country, I will speak up, so today I want to be very clear about something,” Ryan said.
“If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games. They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people’s prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals. This is the party of Lincoln.”
Ryan added: “This is fundamental. And if someone wants to be our nominee, they must understand this. I hope this is the last time I need to speak out on this race.”
Trump initially responded that Romney, who lost to Barack Obama in 2012, is “a bad person.” He promised a more detailed response later today and hinted that if the GOP establishment turns on him he might make a third-party run for the White House relying on the support of middle- and low-income white voters who have flocked to him.
The aggressive tone of the rebukes by high-profile Republicans is part of a concerted effort by the national GOP leadership to salvage any chance that Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or John Kasich could wrest the GOP nomination from Trump, who has a commanding lead in acquiring GOP delegates. On CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360“, CNN anchor and political analyst John King estimated that with his current lead in delgates, Trump – barring any significant reversal of fortune – is almost a shoo-in to be the GOP nominee for the White House in November.
Trump will take center stage tonight in another televised debate. With him will be the remaining candidates, Rubio, Cruz and Kasich. Yesterday, Dr. Ben Carson dropped out the race for the GOP nomination for President.