Romney says he had a very 'thorough' foreign policy discussion with Trump
President-elect Donald Trump and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney met for about an hour in the clubhouse of Trump's New Jersey golf course and had a wide ranging discussion of foriegn policy, according to Romney.
There had been some speculation that Trump might offer the secretary of state job to Romney during the meeting. But Romney's remarks to the press afterwards gave no hint such an offer had been forthcoming.
“We had a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance,” Romney told reporters.
“We discussed those areas and exchanged our views on those topics. A very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had and appreciate the chance to speak with the president-elect and look forward to the coming administration.”
Romney did not say whether the two discussed a possible cabinet position.
The 2012 GOP presidential nominee was a vocal critic of Trump's candidacy and blasted the businessman during a speech in March, accusing Trump of conning Americans.
"Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud," Romney said at the time. "His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat."
Trump's transition team has said that some of the president-elect’s meetings this weekend are to solicit advice, and not all of his guests at the Bedminster, N.J., club are under consideration for cabinet posts.As Romney approached reporters on Saturday, Trump remained near the front door of the clubhouse, cupping his hands around his mouth and calling out, "It went great."The former Massachusetts governor didn't take questions and ignored the ones shouted at him after making his statement, which lasted about 30 seconds."Do you still think he's a con artist, sir?" a reporter could be heard asking as Romney pivoted on his feet while looking around for his car to leave.Trump was quick to fire back at Romney after the former Republican nominee delivered his blistering speech earlier this year warning about the dangers of a Trump presidency.Trump called Romney's 2012 White House bid a "disaster" and labeled the former GOP governor a "choke artist" while feuding with other members of his party.Romney has also warned about Russia, blasting Russian President Vladimir Putin last year as a "thug" as Trump expressed mutual respect for the Russian leader.
For Trump, the meeting served the dual purpose of showing the world that the two men could get past the ugliness exchanged during the campaign while using Romney as a sounding board for some of his foreign policy ideas. Was Trump feeling out Romney to determine if he would accept the secretary of state position if it was offered? The last thing Trump would want is for Romney to spurn an offer to join his cabinet, so Trump very likely talked only in general terms about the secretary of state post.
What did Romney hope to get out of the meeting? Some have speculated that Romney, the ultimate party insider, wanted to show his support for a Republican president and by example, bring other reluctant establishment Republicans into the fold. That doesn't mean he will serve in Trump's cabinet - or that Trump even wants him - but it may have been an effort to unite the party around the president-elect and his agenda.
It would be shocking if, after all that both men said about each other, that Trump would ask Romney to join his administration. But this has been a crazy election year and the possibility cannot be dismissed lightly.