Trump mocks Romney after ‘trickle-down racism’ comment

Kevin Cirilli

Donald Trump returned to the combative form that helped him win the U.S. Republican presidential nomination, slamming Democrats, calling for his party to unite behind him, and responding to Mitt Romney’s suggestion that his election could lead to “trickle-down racism.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Saturday, June 11, 2016, at a private hanger at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon, Pa.

At a rally in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday, Trump termed himself “the least racist person that you have ever met” and knocked Romney, as he’s done before, for losing to President Barack Obama as the Republican nominee in the 2012 election.

“Don’t forget, this guy let us down. He choked and he let us down,” Trump, 69, said of the former Massachusetts governor.

Romney said on CNN Friday that electing Trump could fundamentally change the nature of the U.S. “Trickle-down racism, trickle-down bigotry, trickle-down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America,” Romney said.

After enduring days of criticism from Republican congressional leaders including House Speaker Paul Ryan for his complaints that a U.S. judge of Mexican heritage was biased because of ethnicity, Trump said it was time for the party to get behind him.

“The Republicans have to stick together and they have to be smart,” he said. “The Republicans have to be tough because we have the better ideas. And my ideas are better than any of them.”

Supporters for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wait for him to arrive for a campaign rally, Saturday, June 11, 2016, at a private hanger at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon, Pa.

The weekend events — including a rally Friday night in Richmond, Virginia, and another event on Saturday in Pittsburgh — were Trump’s first since he spoke about his campaign platform on Thursday using a teleprompter.

The billionaire political novice needed no prompting in Tampa to deliver barbs at the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whom he termed “very crooked.”

He also revisited his primary-season attack on former Republican competitor Jeb Bush, noting that the former Florida governor had been an also-ran during the party’s candidates’ debates. “I was at center stage at every debate,” said Trump, while Bush was falling off the ends” of the stage.

“I don’t think he’s going to endorse me,” Trump said in Tampa. “Who the hell cares?”