{{show_title_date || "Mitt Romney slams Trump and calls on GOP support, 3/3/16, 11:32 AM ET"}}

Mitt Romney lays out scathing critique of Donald Trump

Updated

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivered a scorching indictment of Donald Trump on Thursday, calling him a phony, a fraud, a misogynist and a bully who threatens America’s future.

Trump responded to Romney’s scathing critique at a campaign rally a few hours later, spending the better part of his campaign speech defending himself and criticizing Romney.

3/3/16, 2:33 PM ET

Endorse this: Romney takes on Trump

Years after Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for President, Romney turned his fire on the Republican front-runner.

“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,” Romney said in Utah at the Hinckley Institute of Politics Forum. “His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.”

Romney then went on an epic take down of the Republican frontrunner, point-by-point, issue-by-issue, critiquing his business acumen, the amount he’s worth, his ability to understand foreign policy and his temperament and his honesty.

  • On his businesses: ”His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it. And what ever happened to Trump Airlines? How about Trump University? And then there’s Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks, and Trump Mortgage? A business genius he is not.”

  • On foreign policy: ”Donald Trump tells us that he is very, very smart. I’m afraid that when it comes to foreign policy he is very, very not smart.”

  • On his character: ”Dishonesty is Trump’s hallmark: He claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into Iraq. Wrong, he spoke in favor of invading Iraq. He said he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. Wrong, he saw no such thing. He imagined it. His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader.”

  • On his wealth: ”I predict that there are more bombshells in his tax returns. I predict that he doesn’t give much if anything to the disabled and to our veterans. … And I predict that despite his promise to do so, first made over a year ago, he will never ever release his tax returns. Never. Not the returns under audit, not even the returns that are no longer being audited. He has too much to hide.”

  • On his morality: “Mr. Trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes. He creates scapegoats of Muslims and Mexican immigrants, he calls for the use of torture and for killing the innocent children and family members of terrorists. He cheers assaults on protesters. He applauds the prospect of twisting the Constitution to limit first amendment freedom of the press. This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss.”

  • And then there was this: ”Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin, while has called George W. Bush a liar. That is a twisted example of evil trumping good.”

MSNBC Live, 3/3/16, 2:18 PM ET

Donald Trump bites back: Mitt failed badly

At a rally in Maine, Republican front-runner Donald Trump fires back after Mitt Romney’s recent attack, adding that Romney is a ‘failed candidate’ and that his 2012 presidential campaign was one of the worst in history.
At his previously scheduled campaign rally in Portland, Maine, Trump responded to a litany of Romney’s criticisms. Trump said he was going to address Romney’s speech “quickly” because it was “irrelevant,” but he then spent twenty minutes responding to Romney or defending himself.

He called Romney “nasty,” a “lightweight,” a “choke artist,” and a “failed candidate.”

“I thought he was a better person than that,” Trump said.

He also repeatedly noted that Romney “begged” for Trump’s endorsement in 2012.

“I could have said Mitt drop to your knees and he would have dropped to his knees,” Trump said.

Romney and accepted the real estate mogul’s endorsement in 2012.

Romney didn’t address his endorsement in his speech but do so on Twitter a few hours later.

Romney didn’t endorse a candidate. But he did call on voters to vote for anyone but Trump. He said that a Trump nomination will ensure Democrat Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

“A person so untrustworthy and dishonest as Hillary Clinton must not become president. But a Trump nomination enables her victory,” Romney will explain.

In the meantime, he offered a pre-buttal to Romney’s speech, Trump has been slamming the former Republican presidential nominee on Twitter for the past 24 hours.

And on NBC’s TODAY Show, Trump said Romney “begged me four years ago for my endorsement, he’s a failed candidate.”

“Mitt Romney is a stiff,” Trump added.

And on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Trump accused Romney of “just trying to stay relevant,” acknowledging the attacks against him while stressing he would unify, not divide, the Republican Party.

“Now, I’m being hit from 19 different angles right now… but ultimately I get along with people,” Trump said. “If the time comes and when… who knows what’s going to happen, but I will be able to get along. And we will have a much bigger party, we will have a much more inclusive party.”

A senior adviser to Donald Trump, Dan Scavino, responded to Romney’s speech on Twitter.

And on NBC’s TODAY Show, Trump said Romney “begged me four years ago for my endorsement, he’s a failed candidate.”

“Mitt Romney is a stiff,” Trump added.

And on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Trump accused Romney of “just trying to stay relevant,” acknowledging the attacks against him while stressing he would unify, not divide, the Republican Party.

“Now, I’m being hit from 19 different angles right now… but ultimately I get along with people,” Trump said. “If the time comes and when… who knows what’s going to happen, but I will be able to get along. And we will have a much bigger party, we will have a much more inclusive party.”

A senior adviser to Donald Trump, Dan Scavino, responded to Romney’s speech on Twitter.

See how Twitter reacted to Romney’s speech:

This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

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Mitt Romney lays out scathing critique of Donald Trump

Updated