News & Politics

Romney, Trump Meet for 'Thorough' Discussion of Foreign Policy Issues

President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney shake hands as Romney leaves Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Donald Trump and Mitt Romney met for about an hour in the clubhouse at Trump’s New Jersey golf course for a wide-ranging discussion of foreign policy issues.

While there was speculation prior to the meeting that Trump might offer Romney the job of secretary of state, neither man dropped any clues about whether Trump asked Romney to serve in his cabinet.

The Hill:

“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.
I sincerely doubt either man’s opinion of the other has changed since the campaign. But for Romney, the situation has been radically altered. Romney, the ultimate party man and establishment icon, made the pilgrimage to Trump territory in New Jersey to show other reluctant establishment Republicans that it was in their interests — and the interests of the Republican Party — to accept Trump as president and leader of the party.

For Trump, he may be genuinely interested in having Romney serve in some capacity in his cabinet. Sounding out the former nominee on that possibility appears to have been one of the goals of the meeting. Vice President-elect Mike Pence told Fox News that Romney was “under active consideration” for the post at State “along with some other very distinguished Americans.”
Trump has shown a largeness of spirit and the ability to reach out to people beyond his inner circle for advice by meeting with Romney. Romney put aside his Trump hatred to acknowledge the political reality of Trump’s election.
It speaks well of both men that they were able to find common ground.