Donald Trump on Saturday kicked his unapologetic presidential campaign into high gear -- saying he won’t apologize for his personal attacks on Sen. Elizabeth Warren and extending his feud with GOP establishment leader Mitt Romney.
“The guy’s a stone cold loser, a choker,” Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, said about Romney at a rally in Tampa, Fla.
Also on Saturday, Romney, who this weekend is holding an ideas summit in Utah, suggested that Trump’s misogynistic and racially insensitive remarks have opened the door for generations of Americans to engage in similar behavior.
Trump told the crowd of about 5,000 in Tampa that Romney, the GOP presidential nominee who lost to President Obama in 2012, “doesn’t even know what a misogynist is.”
Trump and Warren, a leading progressive voice in the Democratic Party, have attacked each other increasingly in recent weeks, with the exchanges appearing to intensify now that Clinton has become the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
On Thursday, Warren endorsed Clinton and accused Trump of “race baiting” and using “racism” toward the federal judge of Mexican heritage who is presiding over a civil fraud suit against the Trump University real estate school.
Trump has suggested the American-born judge won’t give him a fair trial, considering Trump’s disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants.
Trump has not apologized to the judge, despite widespread calls for him to do so.
On Saturday, Trump sarcastically suggested he’ll apologize for referring to Warren as “Pocahontas,” in response to Warren apparently attempting to use Native American heritage to further her academic and political career.
Trump said he’d apologize because his name calling “is an insult to Pocahontas, not Warren.”
Romney, at his summit Saturday in Park City, likened the impact of Trump's words to former President Bill Clinton’s sexual “dalliances in White House,” which he said have “impacted generations.”
“Now we have kids in elementary schools joking about the size of their hands,” Romney said about one Trump comment, in a question-and-answer session with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Romney, nevertheless, credited Bill Clinton with correctly articulating that a candidate’s views on jobs and the economy largely decide elections when Clinton said: “People vote with their pocketbooks.”
He appeared to give a mixed message about how he’ll deal with Trump through November, saying he’s not going to spend the next six months arguing his point of view.
“I’m not going to be an attack dog,” said Romney, who then made clear that he’ll call out Trump for comments with which he does not agree.
Trump, who also held a rally Saturday in Moon Township, Pa., told supporters that former GOP House Speaker Rep. Newt Gingrich, Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions and former Secretary of State Condleezza Rice appear popular choices to be his running mate.
He dismissed Clinton’s recent line of attack that he lacks the temperament to be president and said, “She’s got the bad temperament.”
Trump said the recent tell-all book by a former Secret Service agent referred to the former first lady as a “total mess.”
“We need strong temperament,” Trump said. “I have a strong temperament.”