Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE cut into a handful of prominent Republican figures during a Wednesday rally, even lightly chiding those who ultimately came around to endorsing him for president.
The presumptive GOP nominee lashed out at 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, saying he “walks like a penguin.”
“Poor Mitt Romney. I have a store that’s worth more money than he is,” Trump said in Anaheim, Calif.
“I understand losers. You can make a lot of money with losers,” Trump said, before adding that the former Massachusetts governor “choked like a dog. He’s a choker.”
Next up: Rick Perry, who bashed Trump on the trail as a “cancer” to conservatism but ultimately endorsed him.
“Good guy, he said the worst things about me and I always liked him. This politics is a dirty business, I’ve never seen people pivot like politicians,” Trump said.
“I got a call, Rick Perry, he made the nicest speech. He actually said something to the effect that [I was] perhaps the smartest person to run for the presidency. He found out, he knew.”
While noting that Jeb Bush hasn’t endorsed him yet, Trump predicted the Florida governor “will get a burst of energy and he will do it,” a reference to his repeated barbs that Bush was “low energy.”
“They talk badly, you talk badly, that’s how it works,” Trump said.
Trump also brought up Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Trump offers sympathy for those charged with Jan. 6 offenses Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE, who has softened his once-dogged criticism of the businessman since the South Carolina Republican ended his presidential bid. Trump and Graham spoke on the phone about foreign policy issues after Trump became the clear nominee.
“It was very nice that Lindsey Graham called, he was — don’t forget, I wasn’t an angel, I gave out his phone number,” Trump said, of the time he publicly released Graham’s cellphone number.
“Many of the people I competed against have now endorsed me.”
Trump has faced repeated criticism that he doesn’t have the temperament to serve in the White House, especially based off of his biting attacks on his political rivals. But he pushed back against that criticism at the rally, arguing that he’s a “nice person” who “loves people.”
“If I was nice to everybody, I wouldn’t be here today, I’d be watching television,” he said.
“And if and when I win, I’m going to be very nice because then it is a question of good management.”