Mitt Romney is telling Republican voters that Donald Trump is a "phony" who must be defeated to avoid profoundly negative consequences for the party and the country.
Romney, the party's presidential nominee four years ago, is charging into the 2016 political theatrics Thursday with a morning speech set to be delivered at the University of Utah. The Associated Press obtained excerpts of the speech.
In his prepared remarks, the former Massachusetts governor argues that Trump's campaign promises "are as worthless as a degree from Trump University." He also asserts that the billionaire real estate mogul "has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president."
Romney's broadside comes amid increasing restiveness within the GOP establishment over the increasing likelihood that he could soon garner sufficient delegates to clinch the party's presidential nomination.
Romney's speech brands the billionaire real-estate developer as untrustworthy saying he’d be a boon to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, will say in remarks due to be delivered later on Thursday to the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah and provided to Bloomberg News by a person familiar with his stance.
“He’s playing the American public for suckers.”
The criticism marks the bluntest attempt so far by the Republican establishment to slow Trump’s momentum after his victories on Tuesday in the single biggest day of voting in the Republican race.
Of 15 U.S. states that have held nominating contests to date, Trump has won 10 and has 46 percent of the delegates awarded so far. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, will say that Trump as U.S. president would damage the country at home and abroad.
“His domestic policies would lead to recession,” Romney will say. “His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.”
As Hillary Clinton moves closer to becoming the Democratic nominee for November’s presidential election, Romney will say that any decision to make Trump the Republican counterpart would bolster Clinton’s chances of succeeding President Barack Obama.
“A person so untrustworthy and dishonest as Hillary Clinton must not become president,” Romney is due to say. “But a Trump nomination enables her victory.”
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