News / USA

    Romney Casts Trump as Dangerous; Trump Calls Romney Irrelevant

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop in Portland, Maine, March 3, 2016.
    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop in Portland, Maine, March 3, 2016.
    Cindy Saine

    Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney eviscerated current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in a remarkable speech, casting him as unfit to be the president of the United States. Romney appealed to Republican voters to consider the consequences of a vote for Trump in caucuses and primaries across the country saying: "If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are diminished."

    Later Thursday, Trump lashed back, calling Romney's remarks "nasty."

    Romney made clear that he, himself, is not planning to run and called on voters to consider any of the four remaining Republican candidates, cautioning that: "A person so untrustworthy and dishonest as [Democratic candidate] Hillary Clinton must not become president." But the former Massachusetts governor said Trump has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.

    Romney blasted Trump for his many failed businesses and for his foreign policy statements. He summed up Trump’s views on Syria and the Islamic State terrorist group like this: "‘Let ISIS take out Assad,' he said, 'and we can pick up the remnants.’"

    Romney continued, “Now think about that. Let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over an entire country? This recklessness is recklessness in the extreme.”

    Trump Hits Back at Romneyi
    X
    VOA News
    March 03, 2016 9:28 PM
    Trump was responding to Romney's speech earlier Thursday in which he eviscerated Trump


    'A phony, a fraud'

    Denouncing Trump as "a phony" and "a fraud," Romney said Trump's "promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University'' — a reference to a Trump business enterprise that is under investigation for fraud in New York.

    Romney, who ran unsuccessfully against President Barack Obama four years ago, spoke Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics Forum.

    His increasing jabs at Trump in recent days include sharp criticism of the party front-runner's refusal to release his tax returns and his initial reluctance to disavow an endorsement from a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group.

    WATCH: Mitt Romney attacks Donald Trump

    Romney Denounces Trump as 'Phony,' 'Fraud'i
    X
    March 03, 2016 6:19 PM
    Former presidential nominee Mitt Romney joined a growing effort by Republicans trying to halt billionaire Donald Trump's march toward the party's 2016 nomination, saying: "Here's what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud ... [and] he's playing the American people for suckers."

    Romney's attacks on Trump contrast markedly with the two men's relationship in 2012, when billionaire real-estate mogul Trump championed Romney, who in turn praised Trump's business expertise.

    Trump hits back

    Speaking in Maine, Trump slammed Romney, calling him "irrelevant" and a "failed candidate" who let the Republican Party down when running against Obama.

    During a rambling, 45-minute speech at a campaign rally in Portland, Trump called Romney's remarks "nasty" and said he thought Romney was a better person. He said Romney had begged him for his endorsement in 2012. Trump cited some of his buildings across the world to counter charges by Romney that Trump is not as successful a businessman as he claims. But Trump did not counter the substance of any of the other scathing critiques of his knowledge, judgment and temperament.

    Trump said his wife, Melania, called him and asked him to act "presidential" during Thursday night's televised Republican debate.  Trump said he would, but that he would also hit back harder if anyone hits him.

    Growing Republican effort to stop Trump

    Romney joins an increasing number of party leaders and influential donors who strongly oppose Trump's candidacy.

    They are critical of the one-time television reality show host's controversial policies on trade, immigration and other issues, including Trump's vow to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, temporarily bar Muslims from entering the United States and force Mexico to pay for and build a wall along its entire U.S. border.

    Another former Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, tweeted that he agreed with Romney and was especially concerned about national security under a possible Trump presidency.

    Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that as speaker, he could not interfere in the nominating process. But he added that, when “someone disfigures conservatism,” he would speak out, as he has twice on Trump. Ryan said he does not know Trump personally, but would get to know him and would work with him if Trump becomes the nominee.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2016. Ryan said he does not know Donald Trump personally, but would work with him if Trump becomes the party presidential nominee.
    House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2016. Ryan said he does not know Donald Trump personally, but would work with him if Trump becomes the party presidential nominee.

    During his news conference after his Super Tuesday victory, Trump said he would most likely get along fine with Ryan, but said Ryan would “pay a big price” if they didn’t. When asked about Trump’s comments Thursday, Ryan said he “laughed out loud.”

    Democratic House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said House Republicans should not be acting shocked about Trump, because they also promote an anti-immigrant agenda. She said with all the attention paid to Trump and Republicans, people should not ignore that: “Hillary Clinton has gotten more votes than Donald Trump. Did you know that?”

    After word of Romney's speech was disclosed Wednesday, Trump mocked the former Massachusetts governor on social media, calling him "Failed Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney."

    Foreign policy veterans

    Separately, a group of 60 Republican foreign policy veterans signed a joint letter opposing Trump, saying he would "act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world." Signatories included former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, former World Bank President and Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick and former top Pentagon official Dov Zakheim.

    FILE - Fox News moderators Megyn Kelly, right, listens as Chris Wallace beings introductions during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, in Cleveland, Aug. 6, 2015.
    FILE - Fox News moderators Megyn Kelly, right, listens as Chris Wallace beings introductions during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, in Cleveland, Aug. 6, 2015.

    Later Thursday, Trump will join Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Texas Senator Ted Cruz at a debate in Detroit, Michigan. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson will not take part in the debate in his hometown.

    While not formally dropping out of the race, Carson issued a statement Wednesday saying he sees "no path forward" to the nomination. It was not immediately clear when he would officially suspend his campaign.

    The Republican debate, to be held at 9 p.m. EST (0200 UTC), is being hosted by Fox News, with moderators Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace.

    Trump-Kelly faceoff

    Thursday night's debate is the first time Trump and Kelly will meet after the first Republican debate in August. Trump, who felt he was being grilled unfairly by Kelly, has made several disparaging remarks about Kelly in interviews and on social media.

    He boycotted a second Fox-hosted debate in January, shortly before the Iowa caucuses, because Kelly was a moderator. Fox refused to remove her, as Trump had requested. The move was believed to have cost him votes and contributed to his second-place finish in the caucuses.

    The Fox moderators told Reuters on Wednesday they do not plan to mention Trump's comments about Kelly, his complaints about unfair treatment by the cable news network or his absence from Fox's January debate.

    As for Kelly, she said she has not prepared a comeback if Trump gets personal. "I have my questions," she told Reuters. "That's all I need."

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves to supporters before speaking during a rally in New York on March 2, 2016.
    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves to supporters before speaking during a rally in New York on March 2, 2016.

    What's ahead

    By March 15, a dozen more states and several territories hold primary elections or caucuses, providing a chance for trailing candidates to make up some ground, or leaders Trump and Democratic front-runner Clinton to strengthen their holds on the races.

    A few of those contests take place Saturday and Sunday, but Democrats have a big primary next Tuesday in Michigan, a populous state that accounts for 148 delegates to the party's national convention in July. Michigan accounts for more than 10 percent of the total delegate votes necessary to become the Democratic candidate for president in the November general election.

    Former Secretary of State Clinton led her rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 50 percent to 40 percent in a Feb. 18 survey of likely Michigan voters by Public Policy Polling. The two are scheduled to debate Sunday at 8 p.m. EST (0100 UTC Monday) in Flint, a city at the center of a drinking water contamination crisis.

    For Republicans, primary votes in delegate-rich Ohio and Florida on March 15 could narrow the number of party candidates. Ohio has 66 delegates and Florida has 99, all going to the candidate finishing first — the so-called "winner-take-all" system, in contrast to other states that allocate delegates either proportionally or on some other basis.

    Rubio and Kasich are under particular pressure to win their respective states' contests; political analysts say their candidacies may not survive a home state loss. Both Kasich and Rubio have finished well behind Trump and Cruz in almost all of this year's presidential preliminaries.

    Mia Bush contributed to this story, some material was provided by AP.

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    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 04, 2016 12:37 PM
    In the 2012 when Romney didn't realize he was being recorded, he said in a speech to his friends that he wrote off 47 percent of American voters. Who is he to say that Trump doesn't have the temperament or judgment to be president when he wrote off half the nation? His friends are multimillionaires and billionaires who have bought the government and run the country for their own benefit regardless of the consequences for everyone else.

    How does exporting jobs to China which is what his company does help Americans? Well it helps those who have large investments in global corporations at the expense of American workers. How does raising taxes hurt Americans? It hurts when the wealthy have to pay more while the middle class pays less. Romney should be paying much more tax than he does. He plays at a lower rate than most American workers. He's not the solution, he's part of the problem.

    by: Anonymous
    March 04, 2016 11:33 AM
    If Trump is so bad, why did Romney ask Trump's endorsement 4 years ago?

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    March 03, 2016 1:00 PM
    In the words of a former Biafran warlord in eastern Nigeria eulogizing/vilifying a former presidential hopeful in the Nigerian political equation of 1980s. “Mitt Romney is one president America never had” Lt. Col. Ojukwu did make his try in the contest and his experience today is history.

    Today we have Mitt Romney speaking what he thinks is his honest opinion about his party – the Republican Party. He had his opportunity to be where Donald Trump is today. He failed and was asked to try again but refused. He may have his candid opinion, but he should let Trump do his own campaigning – unless he’s been paid to campaign for Trump’s opponents.

    Mitt Romney has only added to defeating the Republican Party before the campaigns begin. What Mitt Romney has done today can only be a disservice to USA because he should have been courageous enough to confront Donald Trump with his alternative idea and let Americans choose between them. Mitt Romney’s campaign here is nothing but sheer jealousy and calumny. He calls Trump a lousy hand, yet Trump is more successful than him in business, even though both of them are senators of same assembly.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 03, 2016 11:53 AM
    It is the establishment Republicans and Democrats owned by the wealthiest people like Romney who have played Americans for suckers. They have diverted America's attention from the real issues that affect their lives with bogus issues like abortion and slogans.

    Free trade is NOT fair trade. Free trade is where American jobs are exported to places that have no OSHA, no EPA, no minimum wages, no anything and then those products are re-imported back into the United States without tariffs for Americans to buy. Guess what, Americans can no longer sustain this game. Deregulation means banks can gamble with money Glass Steagall and other laws prevented, go broke with illegal schemes like NINJA loans and complex instruments no one understands like derivatives and then the government steals everyone else's money and gives it to the banks.

    Our government is 19 trillion in debt, millions more people than the government admits are out of work, millions more underemployed, our infrastructure is falling apart due to neglect and all because of people like Romney and his friends ran the government. Who really played Americans for suckers?
    In Response

    by: lone eagle from: Bangkok, Thailand
    March 03, 2016 10:32 PM
    Marcus Aurelius II an excellent comment and I thank you for it and I hope other VOA readers will have an opportunity to read it.

    You would think that the elite British publication The Economist that serves Britain's royals, aristocrats, and Landed Gentry would state what you just stated.

    But then they cannot since Americans are free thinking citizens versus British subjects who dare not raise their noses above the pavement whenever a vehicle from Buckingham Palace passes by!

    by: lone eagle from: Bangkok, Thailand
    March 03, 2016 10:53 AM
    On the front cover of the 27Feb-4Mar16 Economist, a Brit periodical published since Sept 1843 is a caricature of Donald Trump as Uncle Sam with large letters above him "Really?" The Economist is a periodical for Britain's royalty, aristocrats and other Landed Gentry in Burke's Peerage.

    On page 9 is an article "Time to fire him" and beneath "Donald Trump is unfit to lead a great political party." In this article is "If the Economist had cast a vote in the Republican primaries" and recommended another Republican candidate for the benefit of the colonials in America.

    What the Economist doesn't understand is that Americans are citizens, not subjects like its British readers and America has long since left the British Empire and this election is an American election, not an election in a British colony.


    by: Steve Hopkins
    March 03, 2016 10:17 AM
    Donald Trump is a symptom of the zeitgeist, and the tip of a big, ugly iceberg. My hope is that Mitt Romney is right, that Trump is smarter than he's letting on and is playing the coalition of patsies he's assembled ... like a high-stakes Andy Kaufman. Probably not.

    by: Kafantaris
    March 03, 2016 10:14 AM
    The only way to defeat Trump is to defeat Cruz first. And that's been so from the get-go.

    by: PermReader
    March 03, 2016 8:53 AM
    The tough two parties opposition,prevent the inevitable changes.As the Dems possible changes are falling down towards the "socialism",the bright figure of Trump -successful businessman,showman and even the actor, with his undestandable wish to stop the immigration flood, frightened the GOP establishment by strightforwardness, as they think the same,speak the other, do the different.Trump may brink the real changes to America, not the Obama`s declarations,Hillary`s sweet , false promises.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 03, 2016 8:10 AM
    "A group of 60 Republican foreign policy veterans signed a joint letter released late Wednesday opposing Trump, saying he would "act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world." "

    Detroit was once the automobile manufacturing capital of the world. Now it's a broken shell of a city, the people who oppose Trump made it that way by exporting all of their jobs to someplace cheaper. How safe can a city or a nation be when the source of its wealth has been stolen away and given to those who work for slave wages and destroy the environment. Those captains of industry and their free trade have destroyed our country to line their own pockets. Look at Detroit now and compare it to what it was before so called free trade which is unfair trade gutted it. Then tell me who has really made America unsafe.

    How safe is it to walk the streets of Detroit at night when armies of unemployed people with no hope because there are no jobs roam looking for victims to make money because there's no legal way to work for it. Who opposes Trump? The richest corporations and individuals who have made places like Detroit unsafe, the real culprits. And they want to keep it that way.
    In Response

    by: lone eagle from: Bangkok, Thailand
    March 03, 2016 9:53 AM
    An excellent post Marcus Aurelius II.
    "Giant sucking sound, Wikipedia"
    "The phrase, which Perot coined during the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign, referred to the sound of U.S. jobs heading south for Mexico should the NAFTA, the proposed so-called free-trade agreement, go into effect.

    Perot ultimately lost the election, and the winner, Bill Clinton, supported NAFTA, which went into effect on January 1, 1994." Meanwhile, group of 60 Republican foreign policy veterans signed a joint letter released late Wednesday opposing Trump, saying he would "act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world."

    Really 60 Republican foreign veterans where were you on January 1, 1994 when NAFTA sucked middle class jobs out of America to Mexico? Why should Americans like me trust your opinions on foreign policy when you were clueless on the impact of NAFTA on the American Middle Class???

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    March 03, 2016 7:16 AM
    I don’t know what Americans think about this, but I think this bunch of Republicans make their party the most disorganized in the world. While it isn’t my habit to search the internet for opinion polls in the US for the chances of the parties after the primaries, I see a Republican party that’s shot itself on the ankle, breaking down its own defenses and attacking itself rather than its common the Democratic party. That’s not how to be a formidable party that’ll stand up in any election.

    While Clinton/Sanders give their campaigning a party face, aware that they have no better running mate than themselves if they both make strong showing at the primaries, my friend Ted Cruz and Rubio make sure that if they fail, the whole party goes down with them. By so doing they have given undue advantage to the Democrats when the campaigns begin, and leave Trump or whoever wins the primaries no choice of a tested running mate (vice) with whom to ensure victory for the Conservative party. Don’t know why Rubio and Cruz join forces with Democrats to run down their party; maybe they’ve keyed into Obama’s vow that Trump’ll not succeed him?
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