As Republican primary voters headed to the polls in four more states on Tuesday, Mitt Romney sat down with Jimmy Kimmel to talk, with increasing urgency, about stopping divisive real estate mogul Donald Trump from becoming his party’s nominee.
Kimmel asked Romney who he would pick if he had to choose between Trump or Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. “I’m not planning on that happening,” Romney said. “I’m going to do everything I can to support someone who can actually make sure our nominee is someone who represents conservative ideals, and someone I can be proud of.”
What about Bernie Sanders, Kimmel asked. “I think he is an authentic guy, an honest guy. I just think he’s terribly misguided,” the 2012 GOP nominee answered.
“Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘It’s not that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that what they know is wrong’ and what Bernie Sanders knows is simply wrong,” Romney added. “He’s not going to help people come out of poverty; he’s not going to build a strong middle class with policies that have been a failure around the world.”
Romney was adamant that one of the three other Republican candidates still in the race — Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or John Kasich — could still secure the nomination, if not by winning the most primaries, than at the Republican convention in July.
A “contested” or “brokered” convention, Romney stressed, isn’t unprecedented in GOP history — and seven out of the ten times it has happened, someone other than the frontrunner has become the nominee. (The last time it happened, he admitted when pressed, was 68 years ago.)
Talk of a brokered convention will only increase as Trump continues to wrack up delegates. By the time Romney’s Kimmel episode aired on Tuesday night, news broke that Trump had won contests in Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii. This put Trump 100 delegates ahead of Cruz and one-third of the way toward amassing the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination.