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Republicans Attack Trump as 'Unfit' Candidate

University of Utah students shake hands with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney after he made a speech criticizing Donald Trump Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Salt Lake City. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee has been critical of front-runner Donald Trump on Twitter in recent weeks and has yet to endorse a candidates. (Al Hartmann/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)
Republicans Attack Trump
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A prominent Republican has criticized presidential candidate and billionaire Donald Trump as unworthy of the office of president of the United States.

Former U.S. presidential nominee Mitt Romney gave a highly critical speech Thursday about front-runner Trump.

In his speech, he urged Republicans to vote for other Republican candidates, and not Trump.

“Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” Romney said. A Trump presidency “would be bad for American workers ... and families,” he said.

Trump’s success has worried Republican Party leaders. The party is worried about many of Trump’s positions. That includes trade and immigration. Trump has called for building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, deporting 11 million illegal immigrants, and barring Muslims from entering the country.

“If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into depression,” Romney said Thursday.

He also said that the only “serious policy proposals that deal with the broad range of national challenges” in America come from other remaining candidates: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich.

Joshua Stockley, a political scientist at the University of Louisiana Monroe, said he can’t think of another time when a presidential candidate was slammed by top leaders in the same party.

“The reason we can’t think of a case like this is because in the modern age of the nomination process we never had a candidate like Donald Trump. Never have we had a case of someone so disliked by the establishment, doing so well in an establishment-created entity,” Stockley said of the Republican nominating process.

Stockley isn’t sure Romney’s speech will hurt Trump.

“The potential falls short because he doesn’t tell voters where the anti-Trump votes should go,” Stockley said.

Not a ‘business genius’

Romney listed Trump’s failed enterprises – a university, steaks, vodka, casino and more – and said that “a business genius, he is not.”

Trump's "promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University," Romney said. Trump University is under investigation for fraud in New York.

Romney also mentioned that the billionaire refuses to release his tax returns. He also discussed Trump’s reluctance to refuse political support from a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group.

On Wednesday, a group of American foreign policy experts signed a letter opposing Trump.

The final paragraph of the 454-word letter said Trump would make America less safe and hurt the U.S.’s standing in the world. They said they could not support a party ticket with Trump as the candidate for president.

The people who signed include former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former top Pentagon official Dov Zakheim.

Romney’s attacks on Trump differ greatly from remarks he made in 2012. Trump supported Romney’s presidential candidacy then. Romney praised Trump’s business expertise.

"Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people,” Romney said then.

But on Thursday, Romney joined an increasing number of Republican Party leaders and financial supporters who strongly oppose Trump's candidacy.

The opposition to Trump is gaining momentum. Groups are planning to spend millions of dollars on advertising against Trump.

Conservative Solutions is a political action committee supporting Florida Senator Marco Rubio for president. Conservative Solutions opposes Trump and has bought $6 million of advertising in states with upcoming primaries.

I’m Bruce Alpert.

Cindy Saine reported this story for Ashley Thompson adapted her report for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in this Story

prominent adj. important and well-known

phonyadj. not true, real, or genuine

fraud – n. a person who pretends to be what he or she is not in order to trick people

implementv. to make (something) active or effective

challenge n. a difficult task or problem : something that is hard to do

slam – v. to criticize harshly

establishment – n. the people in business, government, etc., who have power over the other people in a society

entityn. a process set up by a group of people

potentialn. the ability to get something done

geniusn. a very smart, or talented person

reluctanceadj. feeling or showing doubt about doing something

extraordinaryadj. very unusual