Mitt Romney will be campaigning with Republican presidential candidate John Kasich during two stops in Ohio this Monday, according to NBC News.
While Romney isn’t expected to endorse Kasich, it is the first time that he has campaigned for a Republican candidate this election cycle.
Romney will appear with the Ohio governor on Monday afternoon at events in Canton, and in the governor’s hometown of Westerville. These events take place before the Ohio primary on Tuesday, which has been described as a “must-win” for Kasich.
“Governor Romney reached out offering to help,” said Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for Kasich. “And we said absolutely.”
ABC News reported that John Kasich is “locked in a close race” with fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump according to the polls.
Mitt Romney, who was the governor of Massachusetts, has been reportedly helpful and complimentary to the other two Republican candidates, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, according to The Washington Post.
Hannah Wise of The Dallas Morning News, has described Romney’s campaigning with Kasich as “a continued attempt to thwart Donald Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican party.”
Mitt Romney has been highly critical of Donald Trump. Earlier this month in Utah, Romney called the billionaire “a fraud” and said that if Trump is chosen as the nominee, the Republican Party would fail, as reported by The Dallas Morning News.
“I believe with all my heart and soul that we face another time for choosing, one that will have profound consequences for the Republican party and more importantly, for the country,” said Romney, whom Trump endorsed for his unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign.
“Romney himself bears at least a small portion of blame for Trump’s rise, ” said Matt Viser, a reporter for The Boston Globe. “He gave Trump legitimacy as a party player in 2012, when he accepted Trump’s endorsement in an elaborately staged event held at Trump’s hotel in Las Vegas.”
The Boston Globe reported that Romney initially held back his criticism of Trump for months for a fear of what his inner circle would say to Trump for a counterattack. However, felt compelled to do so after Trump disclaimed an endorsement from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Mitt Romney’s advisers had reportedly begged him not to feud with Trump, according to Boston.com.
“‘The return fire is going to be overwhelming,'” said Romney, who told The Boston Globe what his advisers had said.
“‘It will hurt you, and it will accomplish very little. Don’t do it.’ I literally had one of my advisers say, ‘I’m begging you not to do that.'”
Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, noted that Mitt Romney’s speech wasn’t a failure as political pundits would suggest it was. It apparently helped Ted Cruz win both Idaho and Michigan and raised the popularity of the #NeverTrump message.
“Part of it is, there’s a reluctance as the prior nominee, the guy who didn’t win — ‘Hey go out to pasture fella,’ ” said Romney. “But the hesitancy was overcome by the outrage.”
Romney thought as far back as January 2015 that Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Jeb Bush would go head to head in the presidential race. He also went on Fox News to say that there was a “bombshell” in Trump’s undisclosed tax returns.
“I don’t know what makes them worth hiding so aggressively as he does,” said Romney. “But anybody who hides something with such vehemence is clearly hiding something significant.”
Reihan Salam, a writer for Slate, has called for Mitt Romney to run for president as a third-party candidate and believes that he would give conservatives who are against Donald Trump “a reason to fight this fall.”