Mitt Romney announced plans to vote for Senator Ted Cruz in Utah’s caucuses on Tuesday, according to a message the 2012 GOP candidate posted on his Facebook page Friday afternoon. Romney also appeared to call on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to step back and give the Republican party a better chance at blocking Donald Trump’s bid for the nomination.
Allies of Romney stressed that the former politician’s vote in Utah isn’t an endorsement. Instead, the New York Times reports that it is an attempt to unite the Republican Party around an alternative to the party’s frontrunner.
This isn’t the first time Romney has spoken out against Trump. Last month, he delivered a speech against the New York real estate mogul, calling him “a phony” and “a fraud.” He has worked since then to block Trump from securing the delegate count he needs to win the nomination.
In his Facebook post, Mitt Romney wrote, “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.”
Romney added that while he likes Governor John Kasich, “a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.” Instead, Mitt Romney believes the only path forward is for voters to cast their ballots for Ted Cruz in the effort to have a contested convention in July.
Mitt Romney isn’t the only Republican to encourage the GOP to back Ted Cruz for this reason. Business Insider notes that Senator Lindsey Graham used the same logic this week, even though he spent most of the campaign criticizing Cruz. Graham explained, ”
Graham explained, “Cruz is not my first pick by any choice, but I don’t see how John Kasich can mount the opposition that Ted Cruz can to stop Donald Trump.”
Mitt Romney concluded in his post that “the only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention.” Romney ended, “I will vote for Senator Cruz and I encourage others to do so as well, so that we can have an open convention and nominate a Republican.”
Donald Trump reacted to Romney’s plans with a tweet.
Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the man who "choked" and let us all down, is now endorsing Lyin' Ted Cruz. This is good for me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2016
Kasich responded by saying that, despite Romney’s remarks, he is the candidate best positioned to win over Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. He noted, “I campaigned with Mitt, I like Mitt, and I just, it’s a place where we disagree.”
The GOP will find out on Tuesday if voters decided to side with Mitt Romney.