WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, said his comments blasting 2016 front-runner Donald Trump had a "big impact" on voters in four states Saturday.
Romney, who delivered a rare takedown of his own party's leader in the polls, pointed to victories for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as proof there are forces in the GOP's electorate turning up at the polls to deny Trump the nomination.
Cruz took the most delegates on the day, winning by wide margins in Maine and Kansas. Trump scored victories in Louisiana and Kentucky. Florida Sen Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich traded distant third- and fourth-place finishes on what was dubbed "Super Saturday" in the race for the Republican nomination.
"I think a lot of people were surprised by how well Ted Cruz did," Romney said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. "He got more delegates than Donald Trump last night. He was ebullient and enthusiastic. Donald Trump was uncharacteristically low energy last night."
Romney, backed up by the party's 2008 standard-bearer, Sen. John McCain, delivered a blistering attack on Trump, calling him immature and unfit for office, last week. But Romney, who some have suggested a would be a better option for the party faithful to nominate in the event of a brokered convention, has yet to make an endorsement in the race.
Asked again on Sunday whether he plans to do so after the March 15 primaries, including Florida and Ohio -- where Rubio and Kasich will be waging last stands in their home states -- Romney demurred.
"I may well at that point," he said. "It depends, of course, on what happens that night. But, you know, I'm leaning toward supporting someone. And going onto the campaign trail and trying to convince people to vote for the person who I think can help the country in a very critical time. And who also can represent conservative values and conservatives ideals. A real-deal Republican, if you will."