Trump: Romney was begging so much, I could've said: 'Mitt, drop to your knees...'
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump responded to former republican nominee Mitt Romney's critical speech on Thursday by saying the candidate "begged" for his endorsement.
"He was begging for my endorsement," Trump said at a rally later in the day in Portland, Maine.
"I could've said 'Mitt, drop to your knees.' He was begging me," he added.
Trump was referring to the 2012 race for president in which Romney, the GOP nominee, sought Trump's endorsement.
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"Mitt is a failed candidate, he failed badly," Trump said. "That is a race that should have been won."
He repeatedly called Romney a "choke artist" throughout the speech, which is an insult he's used multiple times in reference to Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a fellow GOP competitor for the 2016 presidential nomination.
"He's a choke artist, I started hitting him so hard," Trump said.
"We can't take another loss. He choked, he choked like nobody I've ever seen except for Rubio," he continued, referencing the moment in the New Hampshire GOP debate last month when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed Rubio for repeating himself.
He called Romney a "disaster" candidate, adding that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who recently dropped out of the presidential race, sold Romney on not running in 2016.
"Could you imagine, Jeb? Jeb sold him!" Trump said. "He's a high-energy salesman."
He then mentioned a fundraiser he held for Romney where his carpet was apparently "ruined" and Romney did not compensate him for the damages.
"Hey maybe I can send Mitt a bill for 'carpet ruined.'" he said.
Trump called out Romney for turning on him after he endorsed him in 2012 and described his speech Thursday as "nasty."
"He came out, it was very nasty, I thought he was a better person than that," Trump said. "So you help somebody, and then he turns. Now, I will say this. He probably had a right to turn, because nobody could've been nastier in getting him not to run than me."
"If he would've run, and even if he would've won, Ii would've been bad," he continued. "He doesn't have what it takes to be president."
Earlier Thursday, Romney railed on Trump in the latest episode of a recent back-and-forth between the two men. Romney called Trump a "fraud," "con man," "phony," and "fake."
"Donald Trump tells us that he is very, very smart," Romney said. "I'm afraid that when it comes to foreign policy he is very, very not smart."
"Here's what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud," Romney said later.
"His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University," he continued. "He's playing the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat."
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