WASHINGTON (AP/CBSDC) — Donald Trump is taking all the credit for Mitt Romney’s GOP caucus win in Nevada.
Appearing on Fox News Monday, “The Donald” said his endorsement helped Romney win by nearly 30 points.
“There was a lot riding on that particular race in Nevada and it was interesting, because the numbers were much, much greater than you thought,” Trump told Fox News. “And a lot of people are giving me credit for that. And I will accept that credit.”
Trump endorsed Romney Thursday after media reports earlier stated that the billionaire was going to throw his support behind Newt Gingrich. The Gingrich campaign originally leaked word that Gingrich was getting Trump’s endorsement.
“There are some things you just can’t imagine happening,” Romney said Thursday after receiving Trump’s endorsement. “This is one of them.”
It was a surprise of sorts to see Trump back Romney. In an interview with CNN last April, Trump dismissed Romney as a “small business guy” and suggested Bain Capital, the venture capital firm where Romney made his millions, had bankrupted companies and destroyed jobs.
But last Thursday, Trump’s mood changed on the former Massachusetts governor.
“Mitt is tough, he’s smart, he’s sharp and he’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country we all love,” Trump said. He vigorously shook Romney’s hand and said, “Go out and get ’em. You can do it.”
Romney took home Saturday’s Nevada caucus in landslide fashion, finishing with 50 percent of the vote. Newt Gingrich was second with 21 percent, edging out Ron Paul who had 19 percent of the vote. Rick Santorum finished last with 10 percent.
The results were released early Monday, nearly two days after voters began casting their ballots.
Party officials blame the delay on voting discrepancies and their old-fashioned voting method of using handwritten ballots.
GOP executive director David Gallagher says representatives from the campaigns approved the counting.
Only 32,963 voters participated in the caucuses, far short of the 44,000 Republicans who voted in the 2008 GOP caucuses. Romney also won four years ago, during his first run for the White House.
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