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Does war of words signal Republican split?

Posted at 12:25 AM, Mar 04, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- In an almost unparalleled moment in U.S. politics, the Republican Party's former presidential nominee attempted this week to take down a candidate before the convention.

Mitt Romney said in a speech that Donald Trump is a "con man … a fake."

"Dishonesty is Mr. Trump's hallmark," Romney said. "Think of Donald Trump's personal qualities: the bullying; the greed; the showing off; the misogyny; the absurd third-grade theatrics."

To the surprise of no one, Trump fired back Thursday afternoon.

"I backed him. I backed Mitt Romney," Trump said. "You can see how loyal he is. He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, 'Mitt, drop to your knees,' and he would have. He was begging, sure."

GOP DEBATE | Donald Trump makes crude joke about hand size

Also speaking out against Trump this week: Indiana attorney and Republican National Committee member John Hammond.

"I think people are looking for a strong voice, but they found the wrong strong voice," Hammond said.

But despite his strong words against Trump, Hammond downplayed a larger Republican rift.

"Every party has factions," Hammond said. "The Democratic Party has factions. The Republican Party has factions. I think there's been an attempt to bring everyone into the tent. The problem is, and someone said it better than I, that Donald Trump's chasing people out of one end of the tent and closing the other end off, and that's the concern we have. We're not going to broaden our party's base and our abilities to solve the problems that this country faces with that type of leadership."

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