Former Gov. and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Donald Trump is “anything but presidential” and pledged to cast a write-in vote rather than support the Republican front-runner if he were to become this year’s GOP nominee.
During an interview on “Meet the Press,” Romney said, “I’m going to be voting, but I’ll vote for someone on the ballot that I think is a real conservative and who will make us proud, and I may write in a name if I can’t find such a person.”
Romney stopped short of saying he regrets receiving Trump’s endorsement four years ago, but continued to condemn the Republican front-runner’s bombast and vulgarity.
Back in 2012, when Trump endorsed the Romney, Romney said that the real estate mogul had “show an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works” as well as other compliments. On Sunday, Romney said Trump was one of 61 million people to support his White House bid in 2012 and he was being “gracious” when he received the endorsement, but now that Trump leads the race in 2016, the calculation is different.
In contrast, the 2012 Republican nominee said he is “absolutely comfortable” with the other three candidates vying for this year’s nomination and could publicly endorse either Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or John Kasich shortly after the March 15 contests.
“Any one of those three is a real Republican,” he said. “I’d be very proud having any one of them at the top of the ticket.”
Romney maintained that he doesn’t plan to seek this year’s nomination himself and said he doesn’t encourage the creation of a third-party effort as a means to combat Trump. “I’m not a candidate, I’m not going to be a candidate,” he said. “I can guarantee you this, one of the people running for president, one of the four is going to be the Republican Party nominee.”
And while he emphatically told Chuck Todd that he can’t imagine anyone nominating him at the Republican Convention if it were contested, he also said, “I don’t think anyone in our party should say, ‘Oh no, even if the people in the party wanted me to be the president I would say no to it.’ No one’s going to say that.”