Mitt Romney

Hatch Tells Friends He Intends to Retire

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) “has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year, and if he does, Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat,” The Atlantic reports.

“Sources close to both men said plans have already been set in motion for Hatch to retire and for Romney to run, but they cautioned that the timing of the announcements has not yet been finalized, and that either man could still change his mind. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because the plans are not yet public, and the subject is sensitive to Hatch.”

Romney Stokes Speculation He’ll Run Again

“Mitt Romney is once again testing his political power — critiquing President Donald Trump, raising money and campaigning for fellow Republicans, and not ruling out another run for office for himself,” Politico reports.

“Romney’s return comes as senior Republicans express profound unease with the direction of Trump’s presidency and worry it will cost them dearly in the 2018 midterms. With Trump’s approval ratings at historic lows and his agenda in tatters, GOP leaders are in desperate search of big-name surrogates able to motivate increasingly despondent Republican voters — a profile that Romney, a mainstream figure who articulates the party’s traditional views, just may fit.”

How Kellyanne Conway Muzzled Mitt Romney

The Atlantic: “During the transition, Conway began publicly criticizing, on Twitter and on television, Trump’s consideration of Mitt Romney for secretary of state. Romney and Trump were in the midst of a high-profile courtship, and Romney was reportedly a leading contender for the job, when Conway tweeted that she was receiving a ‘deluge’ of feedback from Trump fans who would feel ‘betrayed’ by Romney’s selection.”

“Romney dined with Trump in New York and gave a public statement that seemed to retract his previous concerns and expressed confidence in the president-elect. Nonetheless, he was passed over. Trump chose Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO, for the post instead.”

Said one high-ranking White House official: “Judas Iscariot got 30 pieces of silver; Mitt Romney got a dish of frog legs at Jean-Georges. And even at that, it was the appetizer portion. We’ve sort of taken out his larynx—how can he criticize Trump now?”

Romney Says It Was Good Sign Trump Considered Him

Mitt Romney wrote in the Salt Lake Tribune that his being in the running to be President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state is a sign Trump is open to “alternative views and even to critics.”

Said Romney: “I was indeed very critical of Donald Trump during his campaign. But now he has been elected president and accordingly, if I could have helped shape foreign policy to protect the country I love, I would have been more than willing to do so.”

Romney Refused to Apologize to Trump

“As President-elect Donald Trump considered Mitt Romney for secretary of state, Trump wanted one thing Romney wouldn’t give him: an apology,” CNN reports.

“Trump personally saw it in business deal terms: He would get the mea culpa he sought from Romney; Romney would get the job he covets. But Romney — who titled his own book No Apology — declined.”

“He offered forward-looking praise for Trump — starting with the President-elect’s election-night speech. But he wouldn’t go backward and retract his words from the campaign.”

Stone Says Trump Was Just Playing with Romney

Donald Trump’s “long-time but informal adviser” Roger Stone says the Secretary of State job was dangled in front of Mitt Romney in order to “torture” him for previously opposing the president-elect, the Daily Beast reports.

Said Stone: “To toy with him. And given the history, that’s completely understandable. Mitt Romney crossed a line. He didn’t just oppose Trump, which is his democratic right, he called him a phony and a fraud. And a con man. And that’s not the kind of man you want as Secretary of State.”

Romney Proves Trump Right All Along

Rick Klein: “Mitt Romney may or may not be selected as Donald Trump’s secretary of state. But Romney has already performed a valuable service for Trump – by proving him right, about Romney, and about the broader political class. Romney is according extraordinary deference and respect to a man he famously labeled ‘a phony, a fraud’ just months ago…. Trump can now be nice to a man he once said wasn’t very smart, now that Romney has eaten crow along with his frog legs. But it leaves Romney where Trump suggested he belonged from the start: as a politician whose words don’t really matter.”

“If Romney’s words from the campaign had meaning, how could he be swayed by the words Trump has uttered, or even his early actions, now? Trump’s rise was powered by his big called bluff on the political process – that he always knew voters think politicians’ words had no real meaning. Romney surely has the best of intentions in wanting to help and to serve the next president. But he is making Trump seem more right by the day.”

Why Is Mitt Romney Doing This?

Chris Cillizza: “The terrific answer is that Romney still feels a call to public service. That the same motivation that drove him to run for governor or take over the failing Salt Lake City Winter Olympics or even run for president — a desire to make things better and a belief he can do so — is what compels him to make nice with someone that, from a personal perspective, he clearly holds in utter contempt. Under this theory, Romney believes the best way to preserve his vision for the country and its role in the world — and protect those things from potentially harmful decisions by Trump — is to insert himself between the president-elect and the world. That only by going into the Trump administration can he keep really bad things from happening.”

“The terrible answer for Romney is that this willingness to subjugate his personal views about Trump is all in service of an overarching ambition for power that has defined his life. Romney critics — and those are the people pushing this theory — point to his past flip-flops on such issues as abortion and gay marriage as evidence that when a deeply held belief comes up against Romney’s ambition, ambition always wins. So, Romney wants to be secretary of state more than he hates Trump. It’s that simple a calculation.”