Romney's criticism of Trump attract cries of hypocrisy, GOP split

Mitt Romney may have publicly condemned Donald Trump Thursday, but for many the former U.S. presidential nominee's speech came across as too little too late, if not hypocritical. 

"If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished," Romney said.

He addressed Trump's economic policies, and criticized the presidential hopeful's call for the deportation of Mexican and Muslims immigrants. He asked Republican voters to not support Trump, claiming it would be destructive for the United States and the party itself. 

"Here's what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University," Romney said.

Some saw his speech as hypocritical, since Romney had asked for Trump's endorsement during the 2012 presidential race. 


— @samsanders

"Being in Donald Trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight. I'm so honored and pleased." -- Mitt Romney, 2/2/12

— @jbarro

"[Trump] one of the few people who has stood up and said you know what China has been cheating. They've taken jobs from Americans." --Romney

— @jbarro

Trump in turn accused Romney of political opportunism at a rally in Portland, Maine. He called Romney a "choke artist," that once "begged" for his endorsement.

"I could have said Mitt drop to your knees and he would have dropped to his knees."

Trump suggested Romney's speech was an act of revenge against Trump's success. He said that Romney "doesn't have what it takes" to be U.S. president.

Why did Mitt Romney BEG me for my endorsement four years ago?

— @realDonaldTrump


Romney later tweeted he wouldn't have accepted the endorsement had he known of Trump's opinions


If Trump had said 4 years ago the things he says today about the KKK, Muslims, Mexicans, disabled, I would NOT have accepted his endorsement

— @MittRomney Romney's speech helped him attract a few fans 

I tell ya, I think a hell of a lot higher of Mitt Romney now. People that stay true to their principles rather than falling in line are rare

— @jeffcannata

"His imagination must not be married to real power.” I must admit I enjoyed Romney’s jab that Trump does not currently possess real power.

— @sarahemclaugh But some suggested the speech would likely be ineffectual 

How do you know your political system is in crisis? When Mitt Romney is its hoped-for savior.

— @ggreenwald Others figure Romney's attack could galvanize support for Trump, who is seen as an outsider to the  Republican party

my guess is Romney's speech has no effect other than to solidify Trump with anti GOP Republican voters. 1/3

— @JohnLGC

The problem with Romney's speech, in one Venn diagram: via @petridishes

— @sinderbrand

Mitt Romney's anti-Trump speech just as effective as this:

— @mightygodking Trump's director of social media, Dan Scavino, considered it a de facto endorsement

Mitt Romney with an incredible endorsement for @realDonaldTrump! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain #Trump2016 #TrumpTrain

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