Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced that he will vote for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the upcoming Utah caucuses, explaining that more Cruz victories signify a better chance of securing a contested convention in Cleveland this summer.
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“I will vote for Senator Cruz and I encourage others to do so as well, so that we can have an open convention and nominate a Republican,” Romney wrote in a post on Facebook.
Romney has not officially endorsed any of the candidates in the race, but has explicitly stated his opposition to Trump. In a speech he gave shortly after Super Tuesday, he said the best path to defeat Trump was to prevent him from amassing the 1,237 delegates required for him to clinch the nomination.
If not, there is a contested convention, in which some delegates are allowed to vote freely after the first ballot.
Most recently, Romney campaigned with Ohio Gov. John Kasich before his state’s primary last Tuesday. Kasich defeated Trump and took all of the state’s 66 delegates.
Shortly after Romney posted his statement, Trump took to Twitter to attack the former candidate, claiming that Romney was endorsing Cruz.
Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the man who "choked" and let us all down, is now endorsing Lyin' Ted Cruz. This is good for me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2016
Failed Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney was campaigning with John Kasich & Marco Rubio, and now he is endorsing Ted Cruz. 1/2— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2016
Voters in Utah head to the polls on Tuesday, along with Arizona and American Samoa. Utah has 40 delegates at stake.