Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced on Friday that he would caucus for Ted Cruz in Utah on Tuesday, CBS News reported.
“This week, in the Utah nominating caucus, I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz,” the 2012 GOP presidential nominee said in a post on Facebook.
The “only path” to block Donald Trump from receiving the Republican nomination is a contested convention, Romney added.
“At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible,” said Romney, who campaigned alongside Ohio Gov. John Kasich earlier this week, according to CBS.
Romney also said he would have voted for Kasich in Ohio, but said “a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.”
This week, in the Utah nominating caucus, I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz. https://t.co/e2lAkWrt4l
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) March 18, 2016
The announcement should not come as a surprise, as Romney has been actively campaigning against Trump, who remains the Republican frontrunner.
Earlier this month, Romney verbally lashed out at Trump, describing him as “a phony, a fraud” whose “promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”
Romney Further accused the GOP frontrunner of threatening America’s future and “playing the American public for suckers.”
The comments were supported by another former GOP presidential candidate, John McCain, but Trump has continued to succeed in the Republican primaries despite the criticism.
According to CBS News’ latest count, Trump has 671 delegates while Cruz has 401. Kasich has picked up 138. A candidate needs to win 1,237 delegates in order to win the nomination.
Romney, who also served as governor of Massachusetts, was previously registered there, but has been a registered Utah voter since he moved there a few years ago.
“Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism,” he said in his statement Friday. “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.”
Earlier this week, after Trump swept four of Tuesday’s five state primaries, party bigwigs met to lay out a plan to derail the frontrunner’s path to the nomination.
According to Politico, the meeting was organized by former Bush administration official Bill Wichterman, conservative activist Erick Erickson, and Bob Fischer, a prominent GOP fundraiser and bundler.
Aside from coordinating efforts to prevent Trump’s nomination, conservative activists and party leaders will also mull an option that was unthinkable just half a year ago: breaking with the Republican Party and launching an independent, third party bid for the White House.
According to exit polls from Tuesday’s vote in critical battleground states, a third party run may enjoy wide backing among Republican voters.
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