- The Washington Times - Monday, March 14, 2016

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — Mitt Romney ratcheted up his push to derail businessman Donald Trump from winning the GOP presidential nomination, hitting the campaign trail Monday with John Kasich in hopes of helping the Ohio governor salvage his presidential bid with a win in his home state contest.

Mr. Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, has emerged as a leader of anti-Trump movement and his appearance here at made it clear that he believes that Mr. Kasich is best positioned in Tuesday’s primaries to slow Mr. Trump march toward the nomination.

“You look at this guy and unlike the other people running, he has a real track record. He has the kind of record that you want in Washington, and that is why I am convinced you are going to do the right thing tomorrow — agreed?” Mr. Romney said, sparking applause from the crowd.

“This is the guy that Ohio needs to vote for. America is counting on you,” Mr. Romney said.

Five states — including Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri — have nomination contests slated for Tuesday.

But the winner-take-all primaries here in Ohio and in Florida, where 165 delegates are on the table, are seen as the marquee contests, as well as one of the last best chances to throw a wrench in Mr. Trump’s push to sew up the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination before the Republican National Convention, which is being held in Cleveland in July.

The Kasich and Trump campaigns have signaled the race here in Ohio has tightened, as evidenced by Mr. Romney’s visit.

Mr. Trump also switched up his campaign plans in order to host a rally Monday night in nearby Youngstown, while Mr. Kasich’s stop here was the second of three planned events.

Mr. Romney returned to the political fold earlier this month to warn that it would be a mistake for Republicans to nomination Mr. Trump, saying he would be a disaster.

The attacks from marks a dramatic departure from four years ago when Mr. Romney accepted Mr. Trump’s support at a press conference in Las Vegas, praising the businessman’s economic know how, and record on job creation and saying “having his endorsement is a delight.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, meanwhile, was making a final push Monday in hopes of emerging victorious in Florida, where he is trailing Mr. Trump in the polls. It is seen as a make-or-break contest for Mr. Rubio.

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