*Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney left everything on the floor today in making the case against 2016 Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” he said during a speech at the University of Utah. “His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat.”
Romney said Trump’s “domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.”
The criticism comes as part of an overall backlash against Trump from the Republican establishment, who fear his nomination – as current polls suggest – would lead to a general election loss to either Democratic candidate.
Watch the speech in its entirety below (beginning at the 6 minute mark):
Trump is expected to respond in a planned speech at 1:30 p.m. ET. Surely, he’ll bring up the fact that Romney accepted his endorsement in 2012 with glowing words about the mogul – something Romney did not mention in his speech today.
More highlights from Romney’s Trump 2016 takedown:
On Trump lacking the temperament to be president:
I am far from the first to conclude that Donald Trump lacks the temperament of be president. After all, this is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle, who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance, who bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity.
Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin, while has called George W. Bush a liar. That is a twisted example of evil trumping good.
There is dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War while John McCain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.
Dishonesty is Trump’s hallmark: He claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into Iraq. Wrong, he spoke in favor of invading Iraq. He said he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. Wrong, he saw no such thing. He imagined it. His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.
On Trump’s “third grade theatrics” and thin skin:
Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics. We have long referred to him as “The Donald.” He is the only person in America to whom we have added an article before his name. It wasn’t because he had attributes we admired.
Now imagine your children and your grandchildren acting the way he does. Will you welcome that? Haven’t we seen before what happens when people in prominent positions fail the basic responsibility of honorable conduct? We have, and it always injures our families and our country.
Watch how he responds to my speech today. Will he talk about our policy differences or will he attack me with every imaginable low road insult? This may tell you what you need to know about his temperament, his stability, and his suitability to be president.