Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign stop for another Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, March 14, 2016, at Westerville Central High School in Westerville, Ohio.
Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

Mitt Romney says he will vote for Ted Cruz

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, announced Friday afternoon that he will vote for Sen. Ted Cruz in the Utah caucus next Tuesday.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Romney wrote that his decision was based on the fact that Cruz is the only candidate who could defeat the “Trumpism” movement.

“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,” he said.

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The former Massachusetts governor joins a list of Republicans who are now backing Cruz in an effort to prevent Trump from becoming the face of their party. Earlier this month Romney gave a scathing speech against Trump, calling him a “phony” and pointed out his tendency to flip flop on the issues.

Romney does not say that he wants Cruz to win the nomination, rather that it hopes it leads to a contested convention.

“At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Sen. Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.”

Romney, who campaigned with Kasich earlier this month, warned that voting for the Ohio governor in future races is a direct path for Trump to win the nomination.

“I like Gov. John Kasich,” he said. “He has a solid record as governor. I would have voted for him in Ohio. But a vote for Gov. Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.

In response to Romney’s vote, Cruz tweeted his thanks.

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