LIVE from the Hinckley Institute of Politics at University of Utah.Posted by Mitt Romney on Thursday, March 3, 2016
In case you missed it on Thursday, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took apart 2016 frontrunner Donald Trump in a speech, saying the billionaire “must not be married to real power.”
Throughout the 18-minute address, Romney denounced nearly every aspect of Trump’s campaign and issued a plea for fellow Republicans to shun the front-runner for the good of country and party.
While we embedded the entire speech above, we wanted to highlight Romney’s five best lines against Trump. Scroll through the list below to see what he had to say.
Before you get reading though, it’s important to note that Romney said his speech was not intended as announcing his candidacy or endorsing any one candidate.
No. 5: “If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.”
Romney came out guns blazing in his speech. After setting up an image of a promising and hopeful America, he turned his sights on Trump.
The former Massachusetts governor blasted Trump for not revealing any of his policies or plans to change American for the better. He said what little Trump has revealed “would be very bad for American workers and for American families.”
This opening line, which took place about two minutes into the speech, set the tone for the rest.
No. 4: “But wait, you say, isn’t he a huge business success that knows what he’s talking about? No he isn’t.”
This was about as close to mudslinging as Romney came in the speech.
He called out Trump for not creating his business, but instead inheriting it before he named several of Trump’s failed business ventures — “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.”
Romney also said that Trump’s economic policy would likely send America back into a recession, despite many people’s belief that he would run the country like a business.
“A few examples: His proposed 35 percent tariff-like penalties would instigate a trade war that would raise prices for consumers, kill export jobs, and lead entrepreneurs and businesses to flee America. His tax plan, in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements and to honestly address spending would balloon the deficit and the national debt.”
No. 3: “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.”
Romney hit Trump hard on foreign policy, an area in which the billionaire has enjoyed a lot of publicity.
Romney said Trump’s call for Muslims to be banned from entering the United States is only empowering the Islamic State more.
“Insulting all Muslims will keep many of them from fully engaging with us in the urgent fight against ISIS. And for what purpose? Muslim terrorists would only have to lie about their religion to enter the country.”
Romney also said Trump’s plan to allow ISIS to take out Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad so the rest of the world can pick up the pieces later is “recklessness in the extreme.”
Romney called Trump’s thoughts on foreign policy into question, particularly when it comes to Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, who is often at odds with the U.S.
“Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin, while has called George W. Bush a liar. That is a twisted example of evil trumping good.”
No. 2: “I am far from the first to conclude that Donald Trump lacks the temperament of be president.”
This was Romney’s biggest point in the speech. He called into question Trump’s bombastic character, something his supporters have come to embrace as anti-establishment.
“After all, this is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle, who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance, who bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity.”
Romney mocked Trump’s nickname — The Donald — saying the only reason he earned the moniker is because he had attributes we did not see as presidential.
“Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics.”
Romney also called for Americans to see how Trump responds to the speech.
“Will he talk about our policy differences or will he attack me with every imaginable low road insult? This may tell you what you need to know about his temperament, his stability, and his suitability to be president.”
After a small transition to talk about Hillary Clinton and the near-certainty of her presidency should Trump win the nomination, Romney returned to Trump’s character and the anger he causes.
“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.”
No. 1: “He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”
This was the icing on Romney’s anti-Trump cake.
At the tail end of his speech, Romney called Trump “a phony, a fraud” and said “his promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”
Romney — who was himself branded a flip-flopper in the 2012 election — said Trump has gone back and forth on his positions over the years and readily lies about it.
“Mr. Trump has changed his positions not just over the years, but over the course of the campaign, and on the Ku Klux Klan, daily for three days in a row.”
Romney really focused in on Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns. He said the American people will never know the real candidate until he makes the documents public.
“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.”
Romney closed his speech by putting a nice bow on his anti-Trump cake.
“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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.