Nate Jackson / Mar. 21, 2016

Romney for Cruz

“I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz.”

Earlier this month, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney made the unprecedented move of denouncing the current GOP frontrunner. It was a move that reinforced for supporters of Donald Trump that the establishment was against them. But it’s not that simple. Ted Cruz is anything but establishment, and Romney just all but endorsed him. Obviously, it’s part of a strategy to help Cruz get over 50% in Utah — a winner take all contest if the winner surpasses 50%. That’s a tall order with spoiler John Kasich still in the race, which makes support from Romney, a Mormon, critical in a Mormon-heavy state.

Romney said:

> This week, in the Utah nominating caucus, I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz.

> Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism. 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.

> The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. 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 like Governor John Kasich. I have campaigned with him. He has a solid record as governor. I would have voted for him in Ohio. But a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.

> 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.

What was Trump’s response? At a Utah rally Friday, he asked the audience, “Are you sure he’s a Mormon? Are we sure?” He added on Sunday, “I don’t think Mitt Romney is a smart person. I never have thought he was a smart person, but the Mormons are very smart people. So I said, are you sure he’s a Mormon? And I’m not going to change it because I think Mitt Romney has proven to be not a smart person.”

Both he and Romney sang a different tune when Trump endorsed Romney in 2012. Times change…

Speaking of Utah, a shocking poll — you know Trump loves to cite polls — reveals that the casino mogul would lose Utah to Hillary Clinton. If Utah is in play, Clinton will win in a landslide.

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