Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012, slammed Republican front-runner Donald Trump during a speech at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on March 3 (video below).
"Here's what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud," Romney stated towards the end of his blistering speech, notes Reuters.
"His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University," Romney added. "He's playing the members of the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat."
"Given the current delegate selection process, this means that I would vote for Marco Rubio in Florida, for John Kasich in Ohio, and for Ted Cruz or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state," Romney added, reports The Associated Press.
Romney also denied that Trump was a "huge business success," and said that the hotel and casino mogul crushed small businesses and their employees with bankruptcies, and added that Trump "inherited his business, he didn't create it."
"A business genius, he is not," Romney declared.
Romney's comments about Trump were quite different from 2012 when he praised him in Las Vegas:
"Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people. He has done it here in Nevada, he's done it across the country. He understands that our economy is facing threats from abroad. He is one of the few people who stood up and said, 'You know what, China has been cheating. They've taken jobs from Americans. They haven't played fair.'
"We have to have a president who will stand up to cheaters. We believe in free trade and free enterprise, but we don't believe in allowing people to cheat day in and day out. I spent my life in the private sector, not quite as successful as this guy (Trump), but successful nonetheless."
Trump fired back at Romney on Twitter on March 3: "Why did Mitt Romney BEG me for my endorsement four years ago?"
"Failed candidate Mitt Romney,who ran one of the worst races in presidential history,is working with the establishment to bury a big "R" win!"
Romney Attacking Trump
Romney Praising Trump