Mitt Romney had some glowing words about President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday night after the two men met for dinner in New York.
Romney is one of the top candidates to be Trump’s secretary of state. Speaking to the press on his way out of the Jean-Georges restaurant in Manhattan Tuesday night, Romney said that he believes the president-elect “can lead us to that better future.”
The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee applauded the Trump transition team and the incoming president for his Cabinet selections thus far. He specifically praised South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was selected as UN ambassador, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who got the nod for attorney general, and Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, who was chosen Tuesday to be Trump’s health and human services secretary.
“What I’ve seen through these discussions I’ve had with President-elect Trump, as well as what we’ve seen in his speech on the night of his victory, as well as the people he’s selected as part of his transition — all of those things combined give me increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the man who can lead us to that better future.”
Romney met with Trump earlier this month and has seemingly emerged as a frontrunner for the secretary of state position. Trump has also met in recent days with former CIA Director David Petraeus and Sen. Bob Corker about the position. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was an early favourite for the job, but he has seemed to fall out of favour over the past few weeks.
The Romney development caught many by surprise, both inside and outside of Trump’s inner circle. The 2012 Republican nominee was one of Trump’s harshest critics, at one point calling him a “phony” and a “fraud” on the campaign trail.
Word of Romney’s potential appointment was met with rhetorical boos from Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway last week. She continued her public crusade against Romney on the Sunday political talk shows, warning Trump that his supporters would feel “betrayed” if he selected Romney. Trump was reportedly “furious” at her public comments.