Mitt Romney Jumps On The 'Anybody But Trump' Bandwagon, Labels Donald Trump A 'Phony' & A 'Fraud'

Mike Bessler

It's getting ugly out there, folks. Donald Trump has been adept at drawing the ire of activists, ethnic groups, liberals, and celebrities during the present election cycle, but lately, the tycoon-turned-candidate has run afoul of some of the most prominent members of his own party. Now, a vocal contingent of influential Republicans are pushing back against Donald Trump's so-called "insurgency" campaign, and the incendiary rhetoric flying back and forth presents a mounting challenge to the GOP moving forward.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who lost in his challenge to incumbent Barack Obama in 2012, blasted his own party's front-runner for the 2016 election in excerpts from a prepared speech about the present state of this year's contest.

"His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University," Romney said in comments published by CNN and other news outlets.

His comments refer to multiple pending lawsuits regarding Donald Trump's failed initiative for higher learning that has been widely described by critics and former customers as a sham.

"He's playing the American public for suckers, Romney added. "He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat."

Matching Donald Trump's signature tone and style, Mitt Romney also labeled the billionaire as a "phony" and a "fraud," stating that Trump is getting a "free ride to the White House" at the expense of the American electorate.

According to NBC News, Donald Trump hit back at Mitt Romney, calling the political veteran a "stiff" and shaming him for losing in his attempt to unseat Barack Obama from the Oval Office four years ago.

"He begged me four years ago for my endorsement, he's a failed candidate," Trump said of Romney during his appearance on Today. "Mitt Romney is a stiff."

Donald Trump also lobbed a few virtual grenades at Romney via Twitter, calling him a "failed candidate" and saying that the former governor of Massachusetts "doesn't know how to win."

All of the back and forth between the two men was just a warm up of a scathing speech delivered by Mitt Romney at Utah's Hinckley Institute on Thursday morning in which he spoke out in very candid terms about Donald Trump.

"[We] face another time for choosing.One that will have profound consequences for the Republican Party, and – more importantly – for our country," Romney said in his speech.

He noted that the stakes of the present election are high given recent geopolitical cries, adding, "If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished."

Mitt Romney shared his opinion that Trump's economic plans will lead to a recession and spark a trade war, adding that the real estate mogul's tax plan will cause debt to "balloon" and be harmful to American workers. He went on to skewer Donald Trump for his many failed business endeavors, including Trump Airlines, Trump Steaks, and Trump Vodka.

"A business genius, he is not," Romney said.

He went on to cast aspersions on Trump's foreign policy strategies as well as numerous other controversies surrounding the candidate's public and private behaviors, from the far-flung past to the present.

Romney is joined by former New Hampshire governor and George H.W. Bush cabinet member John Sununu in the mounting opposition to Trump, as noted by conservative outlet Brietbart. Sununu is presently raising money for an anti-Donald Trump "Super PAC" whose goal is to nominate "anybody but Trump" come the Republican convention this summer.

[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]