“It is my honour, real honour and privilege to endorse Mitt Romney,‚ÄĚ Mr Trump said.
Trump explained he endorsed Romney in the race for the nomination to oppose President Barack Obama in the November 6 election because of his knowledge of the economy.
‚ÄúMitt is tough, he‚Äôs smart and he‚Äôs strong, he‚Äôs not going to let bad things to continue to happen to this country we love. So, Governor Romney, go out and get ’em. You can do it,” Mr Trump said.
Mr Romney, in his turn, thanked the tycoon for his decision. ‚ÄúThere are some things you just can‚Äôt imagine in your life. This is one of them”.
He added: ‚ÄúI‚Äôm so honored to have his endorsement and, of course, I‚Äôm looking for the endorsement of the people of Nevada.‚Äú
Moreover, according to Reuters, Trump announced that he would consider donating to his Super PAC – the independent political group spending tens of millions of dollars in support of Romney.
Mr Trump was thinking last year of jumping into the presidential race himself as a third-party candidate, but in the end he decided not to.
In an interview with ABC News on Monday, Mr Trump said he was still between two minds considering whom to chose: Mr Romney or Mr Gingrich. “I like both,” Mr Trump explained on Monday. “They both want my endorsement. We’ll see what happens but in a very short time I’ll be making an endorsement.”
Nevertheless, in April 2011 the businessman criticized the former Massachusetts governor and told reporters that Mr Romney was “a small business guy” and that Bain Capital had created problems for the companies it bought, reveals BBC.
“He’d buy companies. He’d close companies. He’d get rid of jobs,” Trump said. “I’ve built a great company. My net worth is many many times Mitt Romney.”
When asked what made him change his decision, Trump highlighted his past comments were “political talk.”
“That was a long time prior to my getting to know him,” Trump replied. “But I have gotten to know him and he’s a terrific guy. I don’t know if he really comes out like he really is in person.”
“He’s a warm, smart, tough cookie and that’s what this country needs. We need somebody that’s tough, that will stop China and OPEC and all these other nations from just ripping us up. And i think he can do it.”
Perhaps in reference to Trump’s earlier comments, Romney noticed after the endorsement, “I spent my life in the private sector, not quite as successful as this guy but successful nonetheless.”
However, it is unclear whether Trump’s decision will have any impact on the Republican race.
According to CNN, a Pew survey last month showed that 64% of possible GOP voters said an endorsement from the reality television star would make no difference to them while 13% said it would make them more likely to back a candidate, and 20% said it would actually make them less likely.
“Endorsements rarely sway voters,” Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said. ‚ÄúThe Trump endorsement undermines (Newt) Gingrich’s argument that it is just the Washington establishment that is out to stop him and nominate Romney. Trump is the ultimate outsider.”