Mitt Romney came out against Donald Trump in a scathing March 3 speech from the Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah, and since that time, the current GOP frontrunner's lead has only grown.
In fact, at present, Trump is less than 500 delegates away from securing the nomination outright without the need for a brokered convention, something the Republican party "establishment" has been hoping for since it became apparent that candidates like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich were not going to rise above voter anger.
What's worse for the party brass is that Trump is currently leading in many of the key states ahead, including California and New York. Also, his only real competition in these locations is Texas Senator Ted Cruz, another politician who has a tendency to get on his own party's nerves.
Traditional Republicans are now forced to back Cruz if they want to stop the so-called "Trump Train," and it's pretty much all the fault of that damning speech Mitt Romney gave not more than a month ago.Well, that and some of the other steps he's taken since then. Let's look at how Mitt Romney could be giving the GOP Nominee Trump.
1. Mitt Romney encouraged a brokered convention.In the now infamous speech that sealed his party's fate, Romney encouraged voters to vote for the best candidate who had a chance of beating Donald Trump in each individual state.
By urging his party to vote against Trump instead of for an individual candidate, he implied that a brokered convention was necessary in order to stave off "the Donald."
The problem with this line of thought is that Americans hate brokered conventions, especially since no matter how this election cycle gets to one, Trump will be the clear frontrunner.
Essentially, Mitt Romney was telling his party to not let the people decide on the nominee. The implication: they're too dumb to do so for themselves.
That only mobilized Trump's get-out-the-vote effort further and cemented his status as the only candidate capable of "taking on the system."
It unquestionably swayed a lot of right-leaning Independent voters.
2. Romney failed to see the backlash from 2012.When Mitt launched his tirade against Donald Trump, he failed to remember a video that quickly circulated on YouTube from 2012 in which he praised the businessman shortly after Trump endorsed him.
This, along with the shady process Romney's speech encouraged, gave Trump ample ammunition for painting Mitt Romney as a disloyal human being and a fraud.
3. Mitt started trying to play dirty with the King of Dirty Play.Romney started upping his public appearances after Trump survived the first attack. With each subsequent appearance, his attacks morphed into something one would expect more from Trump himself than the party's 2012 nominee and senior statesman.
This recently culminated in a cheap shot that Mitt took at two of Trump's wives, Melania and Ivana.
Mitt Romney at @NRCC dinner: "Donald Trump has had several foreign wives. It turns out that there are really are jobs Americans won't do."As Florida Senator and now-dropped out candidate Marco Rubio learned, you can't go into the gutter with a guy, who excels there, and expect to win.
— Kris Hammond (@KrisHammond) March 23, 2016
Rubio came out strong against Trump after it emerged that he, Cruz, and Kasich were the only three candidates left with a shot at beating the Donald, either in primaries or a brokered convention.
"Little Marco," as Trump would name him, made fun of Trump's hands and implied he had a small penis, which actually made it onto the debate stage.
A couple of weeks later he was out of the race.
Now that Mitt Romney has taken his best shot at it, it's likely he will soon fade into the background as well. But not before he all but gift-wrapped the nomination for Trump.
But what do you think, readers?
Would Trump be on the fast-track to the nomination anyway, or did Mitt Romney push voters more his direction? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via YouTube screen grab, linked above]