Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, said Sunday he believes his Thursday speech against Donald Trump hurt the 2016 front-runner after he split Saturday's contests with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
"I think I had a big impact," Romney said Sunday on "Meet the Press."
"I think a lot of people were surprised by how well Ted Cruz did. He got more delegates than Donald Trump last night. He was ebullient and enthusiastic, and Donald Trump was uncharacteristically low-energy last night. I think he was really surprised."
Trump won in Kentucky and Louisiana, but came in second to Cruz in Kansas and Maine. Maine Gov. Paul LePage endorsed Trump, and the real estate tycoon had been expected to win that state.
Cruz appears to be "emerging right now," Romney said, but added he wouldn't write off Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or Ohio Gov. John Kasich just yet.
"Marco Rubio is very strong in Florida. More recent polls have him within a few points of Donald Trump," he said. "And John Kasich [is] leading in Ohio. So they may be favorite-son candidates or they may emerge down the road being a very strong candidate on their own."
Rubio has won one state, while Kasich is still awaiting a primary or caucus victory.
Romney indicated he might endorse someone after the March 15 primaries, but said he would be satisfied with anyone in the field other than Trump, who he says is "not at all the real deal" when it comes to conservatism.
If Trump is the nominee, Romney said he will probably write in the name of a conservative on the November general election ballot.
In an interview aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Romney said he would have spoken out sooner but didn’t expect Trump to do so well.
"But he has tapped into an anger which is very much understood," Romney said. "What he's done with that anger, however, is not to build it and to resolve and high purpose, but instead to take it down a very dark alley."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.