Trump and Romney’s 10 harshest insults – Politico

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Now Mitt Romney is a top contender to become DonaldTrump’s secretary of state, the U.S. government’s voice to the world and fourth in line of succession for the presidency. | Getty

Can Romney, who called Trump a ‘fraud’ and ‘phony,’ get the nod to be his secretary of state? Will the president-elect select a man he once dismissed as a ‘stiff’ who ‘choked’ in 2012?

Mitt Romney called Donald Trump a “fraud” and “phony” whose words and actions are “degrading” to women, and whose policies would trigger a recession, make America less safe and foster an era of “trickle-down racism.”

Trump labeled Romney a “stiff” and a “catastrophe” who had “choked like a dog” when he ran for president in 2012.

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Now Romney is a top contender to become Trump’s secretary of state, the U.S. government’s voice to the world and fourth in line of succession for the presidency — if the two men can put aside the ugly words they hurled at each other during the past year.

Trump may be willing to forgive — The New York Times says he has told aides that Romney “looks the part” — but many of the president-elect’s fiercest supporters are not yet ready to forget the former Massachusetts governor’s outspoken role in the “Never Trump” movement. Romney might even have to offer a public apology if he wants the job, Fox News’ Ed Henry speculated Friday morning.

“Many inside the building believe in reaching out to those who worked against us but believe Romney is a bridge too far, untrustworthy and, frankly, that there are better alternatives,” a senior transition aide told POLITICO.

Here’s a look back at the insults Trump and Romney traded over the course of the campaign:

1) Romney: On Muslims, Trump ‘fired before aiming’

At first, the dispute was policy-focused: Romney took to Twitter in December to attack Trump’s proposal for a ban on Muslim immigration and his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“On Muslims, @realDonaldTrump fired before aiming,” Romney wrote while linking to a statement from House Speaker Paul Ryan about freedom of religion. Romney also offered an “important distinction” between Putin’s leadership and that of the United States: “[T]hug Putin kills journalists and opponents; our presidents kill terrorists and enemy combatants.”

2) Romney: Trump’s tax returns might contain a ‘bombshell’

Romney grew more aggressive early this year as Trump’s lead in the Republican primaries became more clear — and he raised alarm bells over Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.

Accusing Trump of “dodging and weaving” on his taxes, Romney suggested that his reasons for doing so were less than benign.

“We’re gonna select our nominee. We really ought to see from all three of these fellas what their taxes look like to see if there’s an issue there,” Romney said on Fox News. “I think in Donald Trump’s case, it’s likely to be a bombshell.”

3) Trump: Romney’s a ‘fool’ who ‘totally blew an election’

Trump, not one to take an insult without responding, dismissed Romney as a “fool” who “blew an election that should have been won” back in 2012.

“Mitt Romney,who totally blew an election that should have been won and whose tax returns made him look like a fool, is now playing tough guy,” he tweeted.

“When Mitt Romney asked me for my endorsement last time around, he was so awkward and goofy that we all should have known he could not win!” he continued.

4) Romney calls Trump a ‘fraud’

Romney took the dispute to an entirely new level in March, delivering a blistering speech in Utah denouncing Trump as a “phony” and “fraud” whose business ventures were much less successful than advertised and whose brand of foreign policy was “reckless.”

“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University,” Romney said to applause. “He’s playing the members of the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

“His domestic policies would lead to recession,” Romney continued. “His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president and his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.”

From that day on, the GOP’s former standard-bearer was a face of the conservative “Never Trump” movement.

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