Mitt Romney is about to smash Donald Trump in a speech for the ages

By Peter Jacobs and Allan Smith/Business Insider

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney plans to bash Donald Trump in a speech Thursday, according to excerpts of the speech being passed around social media.

In quoted remarks released by Bloomberg Politics editor Mark Halperin, Romney calls Trump “a phony, a fraud.”

“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,” Romney is expected to say.

Romney, who recently has been publicly critical of Trump’s campaign, announced Thursday’s speech on Wednesday at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

It also looks as if Romney will take a few shots at Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton:

While Romney has not endorsed a candidate, it looks as if he will praise certain GOP candidates on Thursday.

“Of the remaining candidates, the only serious policy proposals … come from Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich,” Politico’s Mike Allen quotes Romney as planning to say.

 

Romney in recent days has been locked in a back-and-forth with Trump, whom he’s denounced for dodging questions about the Ku Klux Klan and for not releasing his tax returns.

“A disqualifying & disgusting response by @realDonaldTrump to the KKK. His coddling of repugnant bigotry is not in the character of America,” Romney tweeted on Monday after Trump said in an interview that he didn’t know enough about former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke or white supremacists to denounce them.

Trump later attributed his answer to a faulty earpiece.

On taxes, Romney has repeatedly suggested Trump could be hiding a “bombshell” in his returns.

Romney told Fox News host Neil Cavuto last week:

Well, I think there’s something there. Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay. Or perhaps he hasn’t been giving money to the vets or the disabled, like he’s been telling us he’s been doing.

Trump has unleashed multiple tirades against Romney on social media and in public.

Last week, he tweeted that Romney was one of the “dumbest and worst” Republican candidates to ever run for president.

“I criticized Mitt Romney for losing that election. He should have won that election,” Trump said during last week’s GOP debate in Houston.

NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander has more from Romney’s speech Thursday as well:

Unsurprisingly, Trump used his Twitter account Thursday morning to shoot back at Romney:


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