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Mitt Romney says he’s voting for Ted Cruz — but only ‘so that we can have an open convention’

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Mitt Romney has announced that he is voting for Ted Cruz in this Tuesday’s Utah caucuses — but he’s not actually saying that he endorses Cruz to be the nominee. Instead, he is still speaking in terms of stopping Donald Trump, and of bringing about a contested Republican convention.

The following is the full text of Romney’s statement on Facebook:

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This week, in the Utah nominating caucus, I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz.

Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism. Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these.

The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.

I like Governor John Kasich. I have campaigned with him. He has a solid record as governor. I would have voted for him in Ohio. But a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.

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.

Ted Cruz tweeted his response to this rather begrudging pseudo-endorsement:

Cruz has frequently criticized Romney for losing the 2012 election, saying that the former Massachusetts governor was not conservative enough, and that he would offer a better choice for 2016.

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Donald Trump has also tweeted his own response: Reminding everyone that Romney keeps telling everyone to vote for different candidates.

Two weeks ago, Romney called upon GOP voters across the country to pick the anti-Trump candidate most likely to win in each state, in a speech wherein the 2012 Republican nominee lambasted the current frontrunner for campaigning on bigotry and vulgarity — to which Trump responded by hearkening back to when Romney got his endorsement four years ago: “I could have said ‘Mitt, drop to your knees.’ He would have dropped to his knees.”

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Afterwards, Trump beat Cruz and Kasich in Romney’s original home state of Michigan, and this week he crushed Rubio in the latter’s home state of Florida. John Kasich, with whom Romney did indeed campaign, won his own home state of Ohio — though from here out Romney is asking people not to vote for Kasich.

Trump appears to understand the political situation better than his opponents: An amorphous stop-Trump effort — to which Romney even still seems to be clinging, by not actually endorsing Cruz to be the nominee — faces a serious difficulty with voters. If they vote for Trump, and Trump wins, they’ll know that they’re getting Trump. But if they are asked to vote for someone else, simply to get someone else, then the voters are not being presented with any kind of clear outcome for them to select.

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Mulvaney’s ‘astonishing public act of legal self-destruction’ can be used against Trump: ex-prosecutor

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In the opening segment on CNN's "New Day," former prosecutor Elie Honig claimed he was stunned by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's press conference on Thursday, saying he just handed prosecutors all they need to go after President Donald Trump.

Speaking with hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, the former prosecutor  could only describe Mulvaney's presser, where he admitted that the administration was indulging in quid pro quo negotiations with foreign governments to get dirt on political opponents, as an "astonishing public act of legal and strategic self-destruction."

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Why key Senate Republicans should be terrified as Trump drags the party down

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Incumbent Republican senators in swing states and blue states find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, criticizing President Donald Trump can result in a burdensome GOP primary battle; on the other hand, being perceived as pro-Trump can be the kiss of death in places where Trump is unpopular. And according to a report by Eli Yokley for Morning Consult’s website, things aren’t getting any better for incumbent GOP senators who are considered vulnerable in the 2020 election.

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‘It was nutso’: Devin Nunes reportedly made himself look ridiculous by obsessing over the Steele Dossier in Ukraine hearing

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While the House Intelligence Committee is spearheading impeachment with its investigation into President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal, it seems Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California can’t stop obsessing about the Steele Dossier.

According to the Daily Beast, the ranking member of the committee launched into an exchange during the closed impeachment inquiry hearings about the dossier on Thursday with Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union who is at the center of the Ukraine scandal. He was a point person in Trump’s efforts to get the Ukrainians to announce an investigation into the 2016 election as well as former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for favorable treatment from the White House.

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