Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday pushed back against those who say his criticism of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump's possible science advisor more than just a computer nerd Of biscuits and footballs: The perils of presidents and the nuclear codes Trump's last chance to save our environment MORE is undermined by the fact that he accepted the real estate developer’s endorsement in 2012.
"There are a lot of people who supported me who I’m sure used the F-bomb and other words,” he said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "I had 62 million people vote for me in the general election, and I’m not endorsing all 62 million people for president."
And I’m happy to accept the endorsement of a lot of people who I disagree with on some issues and some people who I wouldn’t want to be associated with the things they say."
But he said some of Trump’s more recent bombastic remarks, particularly his refusal to immediately disavow white supremacist David Duke and his comments about Muslims, would have changed the calculus in 2012.
"Some of the things he’s said more recently would have made it difficult — particularly with regards to the Klu Klux Klan, things he’s said about Muslims in general — I’d have had a very difficult time standing next to him four years ago,” he said.
Romney delivered a withering rebuke of Trump last week, calling him a “phony."
Some were quick to point out that Romney gladly accepted Trump’s endorsement in 2012, even after the developer had become a leader in the “birther” movement, which insists that President Obama was not born in America.