The Latest: Romney making robo calls for Kasich, Rubio

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on campaign 2016 as Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii vote for nominees (all times Eastern Standard Time):

11:05 p.m.

Mitt Romney is delivering his anti-Donald Trump message directly to voters in Michigan, recording robo calls on behalf of Marco Rubio and John Kasich.

Kasich’s campaign confirms that recorded calls from Romney encouraging Michigan voters to choose the Ohio governor in Tuesday’s primary are going out to homes in Michigan today. An audio recording of the phone calls says they are paid for by Kasich’s campaign. Similar calls are going out across the state on behalf of Marco Rubio.

In the call, Romney urges Michigan voters to choose someone who can defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall.

Kasich’s campaign is hoping a strong showing in Michigan will boost momentum heading into the Ohio primary on March 15.

A spokesperson for Romney says the former GOP nominee has offered his help to Rubio, Kasich and Ted Cruz in his efforts to stop Trump from clinching the nomination.

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7:15 a.m.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump is defending a gesture he makes at his rallies at the request of supporters in which he raises his right hand in a salute that has been compared by some to the Nazi salute.

Speaking to NBC’s “Today” Tuesday, as Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii were set to vote for nominees, Trump called the accusations “ridiculous” and said his supporters call on him to make a gesture as if he’s swearing in for the presidency.

“Until this call, I didn’t know it was a problem,” Trump said. “Sometimes we’ll do it for fun.”

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