President-Elect Donald Trump and 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney dined together on Tuesday evening, amidst speculation that Trump plans to appoint Romney as secretary of state. Romney, who was once a staunch critic of his party’s candidate, has met with Donald Trump on several occasions since his election on November 8. The latest meeting between the pair comes before Donald Trump plans to announce who he will appoint to the position of secretary of state when he’s inaugurated in January.
According to the Telegraph, the meeting took place at Jean-Georges, a three-starred Michelin restaurant overlooking Central Park, where Mitt Romney met with President-Elect Trump and incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. The restaurant chosen by Mr Trump was noted as a sure sign that he plans to offer Mr. Romney a position in his administration. If selected, Romney would essentially be the Trump administration’s chief diplomat, which could signal Trump’s direction in terms of foreign policy.
Shorty after the dinner, Romney heaped praise on President-Elect Trump, saying he was “impressed by his acceptance speech and subsequent preparations for office” and commenting that they had all enjoyed a wonderful evening. Romney further confirmed that he has confidence in Trump’s ability to lead, saying that America will remain a world leader throughout this century.
However, the relationship between Mr. Romeny and Mr. Trump hasn’t always been so strong. According to the Guardian, Romney once labeled his party’s candidate as a “phony” and refused to provide him with any support on the campaign trail. However, Romney now appears to have made a complete u-turn when it comes to his opinion of Trump, saying that Trump’s vision “connected with the American people in a very powerful way” – a far cry from the criticism Romney heaped on the Republican candidate during the campaign.
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Of course, Romney’s quick shift in opinion hasn’t gone un-noticed by social media users. Some likened their meeting to a “deal with the devil,” whilst others lambasted Romney for swallowing his pride and meeting with Donald Trump, who he was once a staunch critic of. Romney’s awkward grimace during the meeting has also attracted a good deal of attention.
Mitt Romney, who previously served as Governor of Massachusetts is best known for his own presidential bid in 2012. Romney managed to secure the Republican party’s nomination and picked current House Speaker Paul Ryan as his running mate, however, they ultimately lost the presidential election to incumbent Barack Obama. Following his election defeat, Romney has kept a largely low profile and hasn’t signaled a particular interest in returning to politics at the age of 69.
However, Romney once again made headlines when ahead of the 2016 presidential election, senior Republicans called for the two-time candidate to make a third run. Romney swiftly declined the calls, announcing in early 2015 that he thought the next generation of Republican leaders would stand a better chance at winning the general election. However, Romney remained vocal during the election, attacking both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and his party’s own candidate, Donald Trump, who was elected president.
Over the course of the past few weeks, President-Elect Trump has been spotted meeting with a number of potential cabinet appointees. Despite an early promise to “drain the swamp” with his administration, many of those Trump has met with are members of the Republican establishment, including most notably, Mitt Romney.
Donald Trump is expected to announce his remaining cabinet appointments before his inauguration in January.
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