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Mitt Romney on Thursday afternoon argued he would not have accepted the endorsement of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTHE MEMO: Trump takes the fight to Congress Protesters rally outside NYT in support of media Poll: Majority thinks media too critical of Trump MORE four years ago, given what he's seen from the businessman recently on the campaign trail.
If Trump had said 4 years ago the things he says today about the KKK, Muslims, Mexicans, disabled, I would NOT have accepted his endorsement— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) March 3, 2016
The tweet came as Trump addressed a rally in Portland, Maine, carried live by television networks, where he was expected to push back on Romney's speech from earlier in the day blasting the businessman.
Trump reiterated his criticism of Romney as a "failed candidate" who "begged" for his endorsement in 2012 after the former GOP nominee unloaded on Trump's past business failures and harsh rhetoric.
"I could have said, 'Mitt, drop to your knees.' He would have dropped to his knees," Trump said of his endorsement of Trump in 2012.
Political observers viewed Romney's speech as potentially playing into the businessman's hand, given that Romney had accepted Trump's glowing endorsement four years ago before unleashing his criticism.
The GOP front-runner went on to criticize Romney's attempt to take the White House and claim Romney feared challenging former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 2016.
"I'll tell you the real reason he chickened out — it was me," Trump said.