GOP frontrunner Donald Trump blasted former 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney during a campaign rally in Portland, Maine Thursday afternoon, saying Romney doesn’t have what it takes to be president and that Trump is a better businessman.
“He doesn’t have what it takes to be president,” Trump said about Romney to his supporters at The Westin Portland Harborview Hotel.
Trump said he heard Romney “made a fairly long speech” earlier in the day. The crowd booed in response.
“It’s irrelevant,” Trump said. “Look, Mitt is a failed candidate, he failed. He failed horribly. He failed badly. That was a race that should have been won. I don’t know what happened to him. He disappeared. I wasn’t happy about it.”
Trump, referencing the 2012 election, said he wasn’t a fan of President Obama, and supported Romney.
“I backed him,” Trump said, adding he made robo calls for Romney during his campaign. “He was begging for my endorsement.”
“He would have dropped to his knees,” Trump charged, if Trump had told Romney to drop to his knees.
“Mitt was thinking about running again. He ran a horrible campaign,” Trump said, referencing the 2016 primary. “He demeaned 47 percent of the people in our country. Once that was said, a lot of people thought it was over for him,” he added.
“When I heard he was running again, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be running, I was very strong to Mitt,” the real estate mogul touted. “I was so disappointed in him because he let us down.”
“He should have won,” Trump said, slamming Romney’s campaign manager.
“Mitt Romney should not run. He’s a choke artist and I said it very strongly,” Trump recalled.
“Jeb sold him” not to run, Trump said, adding, “He’s a good salesman.”
Trump called former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush a “high energy salesman” for talking Romney out of running.
“Mitt was afraid of Jeb because he was afraid Jeb would get the money,” Trump speculated. “I wasn’t afraid of Jeb, I can tell you that.”
Trump said the real reason Romney didn’t run wasn’t Bush, “It was me.”
“Hillary Clinton will destroy him in the election, assuming she is allowed to run,” he added.
Trump slammed Romney for not mentioning Trump’s successes in business and defended Trump University, a topic that Romney had attacked in his speech delivered earlier in the day. He also said Romney was wrong on trade.
Trump also took a swipe at his rival Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), calling him a “light weight,” who has the “worst record in the history of Florida.”
“It takes guts to run for president,” the billionaire said. He added that critics say there is a plateau in his growing support, responding, “This is not a plateau…this is a movement.”
“I have more confidence in this country now than I ever had before,” Trump added, about meeting the people of this country as he campaigns across the nation.