Mr Trump’s rise has split the Republican party between mainstream figures like Romney, and Trump supporters who complain the party does not reflect their concerns about illegal immigration, the slow economic recovery and what they see as America’s diminishing role in the world.
“The D.C. power brokers will drop someone in who is exactly to the liking of the establishment”.
“The biggest story in all of politics…is the tremendous outpouring of voters coming into the Republican Party”, Trump told supporters at his press conference Saturday night. “He did pick up states on Super Tuesday”.
Others note his past support for liberal policies and question whether he has any agenda other than advancing himself.
“I’ve supported Democrats and I’ve supported Republicans, and as a businessman I owed that to my company, to my family, to my workers, to everybody to get along”, he said. “This state where my parents met the American dream, this state where my own American dreams have come to pass, this state that has always given me a chance and will do so again”. At one point, Rubio and Trump got into a shouting match over Trump University, the now-defunct real estate seminar that Trump is being sued over by some former students.
Romney, a former MA governor and the Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee, repeated remarks from last week, telling “Fox News Sunday” that he wouldn’t launch an eleventh-hour campaign for president.
“At the outset of this campaign, I promised I would support the Republican nominee”, he said.
A new group called the Committee to Draft Speaker Ryan filed papers with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, seeking to raise money to push Ryan as a Republican alternative.
The four Republican contests on Saturday together accounted for just 155 delegates.
“He is flattered, but not interested”, Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in an email on Friday.
Others are so terrified about the party’s future with Trump as their nominee that they’d rather have Hillary Clinton win the White House than stand behind Trump’s campaign in the general election.
The last time that happened at a Republican convention was in 1948 when Thomas Dewey was nominated.
It comes as wealthy party donors pour millions of dollars into last-ditch efforts to derail Mr Trump’s march to the Republican presidential nomination.
Mr Romney in a speech signalled a state of desperation inside the party establishment. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz strapped on their flamethrowers to try and scorch frontrunner Donald Trump, while token adult in the room John Kasich patiently waited his turn and told people that when they got to know him they’d vote for him.
Both Clinton and Sanders seem to have taken a page from Obama’s 2008 playbook this time around, putting much energy in the state, along with saturation advertising in recent days. Paul Porter, a top Cruz fundraiser from Florida who helped set up Cruz’s ground game in the state, said the race would now be dominated in part by negative advertisements.
Mr. Cruz, a first-term senator, won high marks from the thousands gathered in suburban Washington this week for his devotion to principles and his willingness to fight for them, even when it angers Republican Party leaders.
“People can do what they want to do”.
“If Trump wins those states, not only will he have a lot of delegates, he’ll have broken any momentum those two candidates have”, he said. Cruz has 231, Rubio 110 and Kasich 25.