If Donald Trump’s most passionate supporters have anything to say about it, Mitt Romney will not be chosen as secretary of State.
That’s the conclusion reached by Trump’s top campaign aide Kellyanne Conway, who tweeted that there had been a “deluge” of comments about the potential pick of Romney.
Receiving deluge of social media & private comms re: Romney Some Trump loyalists warn against Romney as sec of state https://t.co/HDtpjeJTc3
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) November 24, 2016
“I am struck by the intensity and volume of resistance [to Romney] from the grassroots; words like ‘betrayal,’” Conway said. “I communicate with PEOTUS and VPEOTUS privately and regularly so this is not an attempt to do so publicly as some (who missed the election completely) are suggesting.”
She said she respects “completely” that these “weighty decisions” rest with Trump, “a man whose political instincts and unconventional campaign defied the critics and made history.”
Some Trump supporters and allies have tried to steer the President-elect from nominating Romney as the U.S.’s chief diplomat.
Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, was highly critical of Trump during the campaign and called him a “phony,” and a “fraud” and dedicated an entire speech in March to denouncing his candidacy.
“He attacked [Trump] on a personal level about his character, his integrity, his honor,” Trump supporter Mike Huckabee said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.
The former Arkansas governor added that it would be a “real insult” to Trump voters if Romney was nominated to be secretary of State.
Other Trump supporters, like former Speaker Newt Gingrich, have said they favor former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the job.
“I think that, if you want someone who is going to go out and be a very tough negotiator for America and represent American interest in the way that Trump campaigned, I think that probably Rudy is the better pick and has the right temperament.”
If Conway thinks that loyalty is very important in the secretary of State, Mitt Romney is not the man for the job. Romney and Trump disagree profoundly on a number of critical issues involving trade, immigration, Russia, and our alliances overseas.
Are we to believe that Romney will give up his strongly held beliefs on those issues just so he can serve at State? Are we to believe that Trump will start acting like a regular Republican and embrace NATO, abandon his immigration positions, while supporting trade deals like NAFTA?
While Conway makes it clear that Romney is still in the running for the job, you have to think there is more political calculation at work in keeping his name front and center and that there is not any serious consideration being given to Romney. Trump has to know that making Romney his foreign policy partner has very little upside while unnecessarily disappointing his strongest supporters.