President Donald Trump fired back at Mitt Romney after the Utah senator announced a plan to stop him from winning the GOP presidential nomination.
“Mitt’s a loser. He’s been a loser for a long time.
“He has no respect in the Republican Party.
“He’s a terrible Republican.
“I think he’s terrible for the nation also.
“I saw him marching with the Antifa and the groups down in Washington with his mask on—you couldn’t even see his face.
“They were marching, and these were real terrorists—very bad people he was marching with. He didn’t even know the difference.
“No, Mitt’s really—I think having him, I call him Kryptonite.
“If he endorses somebody, that person loses.
“I had a couple of people I endorsed, they took a big lead, and then all of a sudden I saw their lead was gone. What happened?
“They associated them with Mitt Romney.
“Once they became disassociated, they went back up.
“But in those cases, they truly wanted to be disassociated. Mitt’s a loser.
“The right candidate will beat him,” Trump said.
“It’s a great state. The right candidate will beat him—I think beat him easily.”
Romney said earlier:
“Despite Donald Trump’s apparent inevitability, a baker’s dozen Republicans are hoping to become the party’s 2024 nominee for president.
“That is possible for any of them if the field narrows to a two-person race before Mr. Trump has the nomination sewn up.
“For that to happen, Republican megadonors and influencers—large and small—are going to have to do something they didn’t do in 2016: get candidates they support to agree to withdraw if and when their paths to the nomination are effectively closed.
“That decision day should be no later than, say, Feb. 26, the Monday following the contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
“There are incentives for no-hope candidates to overstay their prospects.
“Coming in behind first place may grease another run in four years or have market value of its own: Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum got paying gigs.
“And as former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu has observed, ‘It is fun running for president if you know you cannot win.’
“Left to their own inclinations, expect several of the contenders to stay in the race for a long time.
“They will split the non-Trump vote, giving him the prize.
“A plurality is all that is needed for winner-take-all primaries.
“Donors who are backing someone with a slim chance of winning should seek a commitment from the candidate to drop out and endorse the person with the best chance of defeating Mr. Trump by Feb. 26.
“Our party and our country need a nominee with character, driven by something greater than revenge and ego, preferably from the next generation.
“Family, friends and campaign donors are the only people who can get a lost-cause candidate to exit the race. After Feb. 26, they should start doing just that,” he said.