DES MOINES — The most wide-open Republican presidential nomination campaign in memory had its unofficial opening here on Saturday at a gathering that highlighted anew the thorny path ahead for candidates as they try to attract support from the party’s conservative base without compromising their hopes of winning a general election.
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“The only serious policy proposals that deal with the broad range of national challenges we confront today come from Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich,” Romney said of Trump’s rivals. “One of these men should be our nominee.”
Romney was relentless in his criticism, saying Trump “is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.”
Mitt Romney painted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) as the standard bearer of the Republican Party going forward — even saying that if he were to win the Republican nomination for president in 2016, he could "save our party."