Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer today, Mitt Romney went further than he has before in condemning Donald Trump and what he sees as the legitimization of racism and misogyny. "I don't want to see trickle-down racism," Romney said on the sidelines of his yearly Experts and Enthusiasts conference. "I don't want to see a president of the United States saying things which change the character of the generations of Americans that are following. Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle-down racism, trickle-down bigotry, trickle-down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America."
GOP Chairman Reince Priebus rebutted Romney in a tweet. Priebus wrote: “Respect Mitt and differences but couldn't disagree more. SCOTUS too important to lose for generations. Let's stop this and unify.”
Romney had to admit today, however, that there is no credible third-party challenger to defeat Trump. However, he did not rule out voting for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Johnson’s running mate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who is a former Romney fundraiser. "If Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy for me to vote for Bill Weld for president," Romney said. "So I'll get to know Gary Johnson better and see if he's someone who I could end up voting for. That's something which I'll evaluate over the coming weeks and months."
While this was some of the most stellar possible support for the Libertarian ticket, Romney expressed his opposition to the legalization of marijuana: a plank in the Libertarian platform. "Marijuana makes people stupid," Romney quipped.
Romney ruled himself out, once again. "I think you're not going to find a credible candidate actually running as a third-party contender," Romney said. "The only way to win the White House, in my view, is to become a nominee of either the Republican or the Democrat Party, and simply running to be a spoiler would not give the American people I think the chance to express their own views about Mr. Trump or about Secretary Clinton."
Katrina Pierson, Trump’s spokesperson, later appeared on Blitzer’s "The Situation Room" to dismiss Romney. "This again is just sour grapes from the establishment who have had the power stripped out of theirs hands by a candidate that they do not like because he has managed to do something they have been unable to do for decades," Pierson said.
Romney expressed disappointment that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) had endorsed Trump. "I wish everybody in the Republican Party had rejected Mr. Trump and chosen someone else," Romney said. "But my choice is different than that of the other people, and I'm certainly not going to argue with them about their choice." The 2012 Republican presidential candidate said he was also disappointed by other failed Republican presidential candidates who shied away from adequately fighting Trump in the primary, even though they sought Romney to run.
"I don't think he got the scrutiny applied to him that is typically applied to a front-runner by the people running against him," he said, lamenting that they were "firing at each other." He added, "Jeb Bush had a super PAC of over $100 million. And they focused their fire on Marco Rubio and others, as opposed to focusing it on the front-runner." Romney said finally, "Had I been in the race. I can assure you, I would have taken him on."
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