On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” 2012 Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) said he is not some Republican establishment “Wizard of Oz” pulling the strings trying to stop the GOP nomination of Donald Trump.
Partial transcript as follows:
WALLACE: Here is the criticism that I heard from some people, and I guess that would include Rush Limbaugh, about your speech. You certainly have a right, you know, the First Amendment is there to criticize Donald Trump and say why he’d be a bad president. But some people say that your speech was — their words — condescending, even un-democratic in the sense that, in effect, you’re saying folks who are voting for Trump don’t know what they’re doing.
ROMNEY: No, I think folks need to understand the whole background of Donald Trump. I find from time to time, I talk to people about the campaign and they say, gosh, I didn’t know that Donald Trump gave a bunch of money to Jimmy Carter and to Hillary Clinton and to Harry Reid and to John Kerry.
They hear from Donald Trump that he’s such an extraordinary success. They didn’t know about Trump airlines and Trump mortgages and Trump vitamin network and Trump steaks and Trump Taj Mahal. They didn’t realize a lot of small people have been crushed by Donald Trump’s rise to become a very wealthy man, successful financially, but this is a guy who has not been a uniform success.
As they learn about him, a lot of them say, you know, I want to make sure I take a closer look at the other guys in the race.
WALLACE: How about the argument and, again, we heard this from rush, this is the establishment basically trying to maintain control of a guy — and push back a guy they wouldn’t be able to control.
ROMNEY: Well, you can’t control Ted Cruz for instance. No one has suggested you could do that and Marco Rubio, everyone tried to stop Marco Rubio from going against a sitting Republican governor in Florida. He did it anyway and won.
Establishment suggests there must be some Wizard of Oz somewhere pulling the strings. That’s not the way it works. There are individuals like myself. I sat there and watched Donald Trump, and I said, look, someone has got to say something.
I didn’t talk to anybody and say, “I’m going to do a speech, do you go some ideas?” This is something I did on my own because I care very deeply about the country.
I love America. I’m concerned about America and I believe the heart and soul of conservatives and Republicans recognize that the principles that Donald Trump is talking about have nothing to do with conservatism, nothing to do with keeping America strong.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN