Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — a vocal critic of Republican front-runner Donald Trump — said he will throw his support behind Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in the upcoming caucuses in his home state of Utah.
“There is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism,” Romney wrote on his official Facebook page. “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.”
Trump, who currently leads the GOP race with 678 delegates, lashed out at Romney on Twitter.
“Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the man who ‘choked’ and let us all down, is now endorsing Lyin’ Ted Cruz,” Trump tweeted. “This is good for me!”
He added that Romney has already stumped for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who recently dropped out of the race after getting shellacked in the Sunshine State by Trump.
“Mitt Romney is a mixed up man who doesn’t have a clue,” Trump tweeted. “No wonder he lost!”
Romney, who also served as Massachusetts’ governor, referred to his previous support of Kasich, adding that Cruz is the only candidate who can stop Trump.
“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,” Romney wrote. “But a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.”
Other Republicans have shown support for Cruz recently, including South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who on Thursday said he would help Cruz’s fundraising efforts but stopped short of offering his endorsement to his senate colleague.
Cruz lags behind Trump with 423 delegates, and Kasich is in third with 143. The magic number for the GOP challengers is 1,237 to win the party’s nomination.
On the Democratic side, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said Hillary Clinton does not have “an insurmountable lead.”
“Secretary Clinton has done phenomenally well in the Deep South and in Florida,” he told the Associated Press. “That’s where she has gotten the lion’s share of votes. And I congratulate her for that. But we’re out of the Deep South now.”
Clinton leads Sanders in the delegate count 1,614 to 856. A candidate needs 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.
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