(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

"I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees,’ he would have dropped to his knees": Trump reaches new low while slamming Romney at Maine rally

Trump calls Romney "choke artist," "failed candidate" before banishing 4 protesters during zoo-like Portland rally


Brendan Gauthier
March 4, 2016 1:26AM (UTC)

In a Portland, Maine, rally Thursday, Donald Trump responded to criticism from Mitt Romney's speech earlier in the day, calling Romney a "lightweight" and a "choke artist."

"Mitt is a failed candidate," Trump said. "He failed badly. That was a race that should have been won."

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Trump admitted that he endorsed Romney in 2012, explaining, "He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees,’ he would have dropped to his knees."

Trump described hosting a "very successful" fundraiser for Romney in 2012 in his Trump Towers penthouse, during which guests came up to Donald and told him, "This guy's a stiff. He'll never win." Unfortunately, it was raining that day and guests' wet shoes ruined Trump's carpet. "Maybe I can send Mitt a bill for carpet ruined," Trump quipped.

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Trump also claimed to have played a major role in discouraging Romney from running in the 2016 cycle. "When Mitt started raising his head a few months ago, I said, 'Mitt Romney should not run. He’s a choke artist,'" Trump explained. “The real reason he chickened out — it was me.”

After an unreasonably long digression about whether he or Arnold Schwarzenegger would make a better "Apprentice" host (which was eventually determined by applause-level metric), Trump defended his for-profit college, Trump University.

“The school had 98% approval rating," Trump said repeatedly. "It’s got an A from the Better Business Bureau.”

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The rally was ultimately a stump speech with sporadic interjections of Romney-bashing. For instance, Trump seemingly out of nowhere reminded rally-goers that "I have a store that's worth more money than Mitt," referring to his Gucci store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan — a claim the Des Moines Register, after some speculation, eventually corroborated. (Trump afterward shifted his attention to the Register — "if it's still open" — for a while.)

As with any Trump rally, protesters abounded. One screamed, "Get your hate out of our state." Another interrupted to challenge Trump's nativist stance on immigration.

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"Speaking of Mexico," Trump said while police booted the protester, "I won the Hispanic vote by far in Nevada."


Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

MORE FROM Brendan GauthierFOLLOW @BuzzFeedBrandon


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Elections 2016 Maine Mitt Romney

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