Mitt Romney seems to be one of the few leaders in the Republican Party who is not buying into Trump’s offering of “Making America Great Again.”
Unlike many of the Party leadership who wants to win the White House at all cost even to the extent of undermining their own integrity and the principles of the GOP, Romney is holding fast to his conviction.
He has maintained from the outset that Trump is not the right fit for the leadership of the GOP.
He has also kept up his attack on Donald Trump, but maintained his decision not to jump into the race as a third-party candidate.
“I think you’re not going to find a credible candidate actually running as a third-party contender,” Romney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview in Park City, Utah. “I’d like to see someone run, but that’s not likely.”
Asked if he’d personally seek such a candidacy, Romney insisted nothing has changed.
“No, that’s not something I’m going to be doing,” he said.
He also stated that he has no regret not running again but if he had, Trump would have had to put up a better fight.
“I thought it was time for someone new. I’m glad I wasn’t out there with Donald Trump,” he said. “Had I been in the race, I can assure you I would have taken him on.”
“I’m sure he believes he would have been successful pushing me aside just like he did others in part because I would have been seen as an establishment Republican,” Romney added.
Romney described Trump’s past comments and policies as “dangerous” and viewed his utterances as “too great a departure from the values of our country.”
“Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle-down racism, trickle-down bigotry, trickle-down misogyny, all these things are extremely dangerous to the heart and character of America,” Romney said.
When asked if he thinks Trump is racist, Romney responded: “Oh, I think his comments time and again appeal to the racist tendency that exists in some people, and I think that’s very dangerous.”
He condemned Trump’s recent attacks on a federal judge — Trump has claimed Judge Gonzalo Curiel cannot impartially preside over a Trump University fraud case because of his Mexican heritage — and said he doesn’t “want to be associated with that in any way, shape or form.”
“I don’t think there’s anything I’m looking for from Mr. Trump to give him my support,” Romney said. “He’s demonstrated who he is.”
“I wish everybody in the Republican Party had rejected Mr. Trump and chosen someone else,” Romney said.
“But my choice is different than that of the other people, and I’m certainly not going to argue with them about their choice,” he added.
Romney has criticized Trump time and again for his refusal to release his taxes and accuse him of hiding behind government audit to proffer an excuse.
“I think he’s calculated that he could get support even if he shot someone, but if he’d released his taxes, he’d lose support,” Romney said, referring to Trump’s comment earlier this year that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not hurt his campaign.
“So there’s something in those taxes that’s even worse than shooting someone on Fifth Avenue,” Romney said, speculating Trump’s taxes may show “income from unsavory sources” or “unsavory” connections.
“Who knows what it could be?” said Romney, who was similarly dogged to release his tax returns in the 2012 election.
“There’s no question in my mind, he will never release his tax returns,” Romney continued. “He will follow one excuse after another to say why he can’t.”
Trump has maintained that he is not releasing his returns because he is under an audit, although the IRS has said nothing prevents him from releasing them.
Nigel Belle, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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