Speaking at his hotel in Las Vegas, with the Nevada primary only days away, Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president today. Rumors had been flying the previous evening that Trump would endorse Newt Gingrich, but instead Romney got the nod.
Interestingly, Romney made a point of skipping the Newsmax debate that Trump would have hosted in December, which played a large role in causing the whole thing to be called off. Gingrich, on the other hand, was quick to promise he would attend.
Judging by Trump’s remarks in support of Romney, it would appear Romney’s determination to crack down on unfair foreign trade practices, including Chinese currency manipulation, played a large role in winning the Trump endorsement.
“As everybody in this room knows, our country is in serious, serious trouble,” Trump began. “Whether it’s the OPEC nations or China, or virtually anybody that we do business with throughout the world… they take advantage of us, they laugh at us, they can’t believe their good fortunes… I deal with these people, and they can’t believe what they’re getting away with.”
He also mentioned the recently released Congressional Budget Office forecast of rising unemployment and 1.1 percent GDP growth next year, which he said “is not good news.”
Trump declared that Mitt Romney would put a stop to all that. “Mitt is tough, he’s smart, he’s sharp, he’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love.” Turning to his chosen candidate, he said, “Governor Romney, go out and get ‘em. You can do it.”
For good measure, Trump bestowed his official seal of quality approval upon the Romney marriage, declaring that Mitt and his wife Ann are “a great couple.”
Romney described the Trump endorsement as “one of those things you never think will happen in your life,” and hailed Trump’s “extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, and create jobs,” which he has done in both Nevada and across the country. He mentioned his own success as a private businessman and job creator, but modestly conceded that “it doesn’t measure up to this guy,” meaning The Donald.