Following Donald Trump’s election victory last November, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was briefly considered by Trump’s team for the position of secretary of state. As Romney considered the position, he spoke with a number of former politicians to hold the post, including Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton, who urged him to take the job.
According to the New York Post, speaking to a gathering of top GOP officials on Friday, Romney recalled the brief period during which he was under consideration to be Donald Trump’s secretary of state. As Romney considered the position himself, he reportedly spoke with “virtually all the former secretaries of state,” including, most notably, Hillary Clinton, who served as the 67th Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013 and ran as Donald Trump’s Democratic rival in the 2016 presidential election.
In his conversation with Clinton, the former first lady reportedly urged Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, to accept a position in Trump’s cabinet.
“In each case, each of them said, ‘Please, please take that job if it’s offered to you,'” Romney told the GOP officials. “We would very much like to see you serve in that capacity.”
Despite Romney having previously heavily criticized Trump during the 2016 presidential election, the president-elect still considered Romney as an option for secretary of state. However, despite his previous ardent criticism of Trump, Romney appeared to embrace the president-elect after the pair met to discuss Romney potentially filling the position.
“Why would I consider it?” Romney said. “It’s not as if I suddenly had a differing view at that point of the president and the things that I had felt about him in the past.”
Ultimately, it was former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson who became Trump’s secretary of state, a decision which Romney said was the right choice. The former Massachusetts governor said that he didn’t believe he was the right person for the job considering how drastically his and Trump’s views differed on international issues.
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Romney’s comments came during an annual event he hosts in the mountains of Park City, which is typically attended by Republican power players. This year’s business and policy-focused summit drew in top donors, executives, and office holders from the Republican party, including Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona.
Perhaps the most surprise appearance at the summit was from former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden. According to Politico, during a closed-door appearance with Romney on Friday evening, Biden, who went head to head with Romney in the 2012 presidential election, encouraged his former rival to consider a Senate bid. Romney remained largely quiet as Biden made the remark and offered little by way of response other than to smile, whilst the audience reportedly applauded in excitement at the prospect.
Biden’s comments come following speculation that he will seek to be elected to the seat of longtime Utah Senator Orrin Hatch should he forego re-election. Romney, who is widely liked in Utah, is yet to rule out the possibility of running for the seat, having met with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Biden is believed to be considering launching another presidential bid in 2020 with an aim to challenge incumbent Donald Trump. During his remarks, Biden also criticized 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who he believed would lose key battleground states a month before Election Day, having campaigned in those states previously.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]