This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Mitt Romney who been campaigning for any Republican but Donald Trump now is specifically endorsing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
He posted on Facebook that when he votes in the Utah caucuses on Tuesday, he will vote for Cruz.
"The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open 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 wrote.
Romney was in Ohio last week campaigning with Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
He now says that, while he likes Kasich, but doesn't believe he can force a contested convention.
"I like Governor John Kasich. I have campaigned with him. 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," Romney wrote within minutes of Kasich holding his first of three town-hall meetings in Utah.
"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."
Romney who won the 2012 Utah GOP primary with 93 percent of the vote, and carried the general election with 73 percent also wrote a scathing description of what he calls "Trumpism."
"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," wrote Romney, who now has his primary residence in Utah.
Trump tweeted in reply, "Failed Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney was campaigning with John Kasich & Marco Rubio, and now he is endorsing Ted Cruz. Mitt Romney is a mixed up man who doesn't have a clue. No wonder he lost!"
Trump added that he was headed for a Utah rally, and, "Lyin' Ted Cruz should not be allowed to win there Mormons don't like LIARS! I beat Hillary." He also called Romney "the man who 'choked' and let us all down," so his endorsement of Cruz "is good for me."
Kasich shrugged off the Romney statement.
"Mitt's fine. This is his view and he's entitled to it and frankly I don't think anybody is going to have enough delegates to get to the convention," Kasich told reporters afterward. "This is really about who we want to have run the country. This is not a parlor game. I'm the only one who can beat Hillary Clinton, I mean that's what the polls show, so maybe they ought to knock it off and get behind me. It's fine. We'll just move beyond it and we'll keep doing our thing."
Democrats also attacked Romney's statement.
"As much as Mitt Romney would love to pretend he's not responsible for the rise of Trump, his own divisive rhetoric in 2012 set the stage for the current Republican frontrunner's primary victories," said Democrat National Committee press secretary Mark Paustenbach.
"Now, like the rest of the GOP establishment, he's trying to run away from what he helped create by committing to vote for Ted Cruz in a last-ditch attempt to keep the nomination away from Trump. But the math doesn't lie – and Cruz doesn't even have a 47% chance of becoming the nominee," he said.
Kasich chief strategist John Weaver also issued a statement suggesting, although in more polite terms, that Romney should butt out.
"The fact is the establishment has gotten it wrong this entire primary and it is unfortunate to see that Mitt Romney is getting bad political advice. John Kasich is best positioned to stop Donald Trump in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Pacific coast states. This is just the old establishment trying again to game the political system, but John Kasich's defeated the Republican establishment his entire career," Weaver said.
Cruz is scheduled to visit Utah on Saturday and has two events scheduled.
He will attend a 10 a.m. event to kick off the campaign of his friend, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, at the American Preparatory Academy, 11938 Lone Peak Parkway, in Draper. He also is appearing at a 2 p.m. rally at Provo High School. Tickets are required for both events.
Robert Gehrke contributed to this report.