Mitt Romney has not officially endorsed Ted Cruz. But if you lived in Arizona or Utah, that would probably come as a surprise.
Last week, Romney openly campaigned for John Kasich in Ohio. Today, Romney is making robo-calls for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, as reported by ABC News.
“I’m calling to ask you to join me in supporting Ted Cruz for president this Tuesday in the Utah Republican caucuses. This is the time for Republicans across the spectrum to unite behind Ted.
“And at this point,” Romney added, “a vote for John Kasich is a vote for Donald Trump.”
Romney has stepped up his attacks, saying that he finds front-runner Donald Trump to be “phony” and a “fraud.”
Romney Rises To Speak
After a prolonged silence in the primaries, Mitt Romney first attacked Trump with a March 3 speech in Utah, where he said he was “repulsed” by the real estate mogul’s actions.
“Here’s what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing members of the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat.”
Trump Feuds With Romney
Trump responded by pointing to the fact that in 2012, Romney actively sought his endorsement, according to CNN.
“He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees’ — he would have dropped to his knees.”
To the cheers of supporters, Trump also repeatedly called Romney a “loser.”
On Friday, Romney continued his attacks on Trump in a Facebook post.
“Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism. Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these.”
Trump responded by calling Romney’s character and truthfulness into question.
Will Utah, Arizona Listen to Mitt Romney?
These are the first contests since Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) dropped out of the race following a loss in his hometown Florida to Trump last Tuesday, March 15.
Supporters of Cruz had long pushed Rubio to bow out so that the anti-Trump vote would not be divided.
In the most recent Arizona poll, conducted jointly by Opinion Savvy and Fox 10 Phoenix, Trump leads Cruz, 46 percent to 33 percent. Kasich came in third with 17 percent. Coupled together, he and Cruz beat Trump, 50 percent to 46 percent, hence Romney’s claim that a vote for Kasich is a vote for Trump.
Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Y2 Analytics showed Cruz beating Trump in Utah by a two-to-one margin, 42 percent to 21 percent.
There are 40 delegates at stake in Utah.
Trump currently leads Cruz in the delegate count, 680-424, with 1,237 needed to capture the GOP nomination–a scenario that Mitt Romney would like to prevent.
What do you think? Can Mitt Romney keep Donald Trump from reaching that goal, or will his involvement actually help “The Donald?”
[Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]