Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will address the nation on Thursday morning about the “state of the 2016 presidential race,” a move that pundits see as an attempt to combat Donald Trump‘s unquestionable frontrunner status. Romney, who will deliver the speech at the University of Utah, is not expected to endorse a candidate but has long been a vocal critic of Trump.
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Romney’s speech, the details surrounding which have yet to surface, will come just hours before the remaining GOP candidates come together for a debate in Michigan. In the wake of the Super Tuesday showdown, Trump holds a commanding lead with 319 pledged delegates, followed by Ted Cruz with 226, Marco Rubio with 110 and John Kasich with 25. Ben Carson, who announced that he plans to skip the debate, has only mustered 8 delegates.
Last week, Romney blasted Trump for refusing to release his tax returns, suggesting that a “bombshell” contained within the real estate mogul’s financial records could be the reason for his reluctance to publicize them. He also criticized Trump for not immediately repudiating ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke after the white supremacist endorsed Trump’s campaign.
Romney courted the idea of another presidential run early last year after his failed 2012 campaign, but he reportedly dropped the idea after former Florida Governor Jeb Bush managed to raise significantly more funds. Some have speculated that the Republican party could entice Romney to run late in the election cycle in order to stop Trump from securing the nomination.
Trump endorsed Romney for president in 2012 but quickly changed his tone after the former Massachusetts governor lost the race. In response to Romney’s remarks on the David Duke scandal, Trump dismissed him as “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics.”