Trump endorses Mitt Romney for Utah Senate bid


President Donald Trump sent out a tweet of praise for former MA governor and failed presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, endorsing his one-time White House rival for the Senate in Utah. Orrin Hatch. In a tweet Monday night, Trump wrote, "He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!"

The two have not always gotten along in the past.

Having been one of the Republican Party's fiercest internal critics of U.S. President Donald Trump, Romney didn't mention the administration or Trump himself in a campaign announcement posted online.

Trump's support could provide a lift to Romney in a state that the president won by 18 percentage points in 2016.

Mr Trump later invited Mr Romney to visit him during the presidential transition period before the inauguration, fueling speculation that the former MA governor was being considered to be Mr Trump's Secretary of State. "Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion", Romney said.

"I see way too much demagoguery and populism on both sides of the aisle, and I only hope and aspire we'll see more greatness", he said in March 2016.

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Sources close to Romney told the Associated Press Monday that the candidate would continue to criticize the president as senator if he believed Trump warranted it, while Romney claimed Friday that recent calls with Trump had been cordial and respectful.

Romney is considered a heavy favorite for the Senate seat held by Orrin Hatch.

Romney's designs on the Utah seat were known well before he announced last week.

During the 2016 Republican primaries, Romney called Trump a "phony" and joined efforts to block Trump's GOP nomination at the Republican convention. Can anyone forget his audition - and rejection - to be Trump's Secretary of State during the transition?

The White House had aggressively lobbied Hatch to seek an eighth term in part to block Romney from trying take the seat and from there possibly launching another presidential bid after his failed 2012 run, the New York Times reported. As Massachusetts governor, Romney enacted a sweeping health insurance overhaul that became a model for the insurance exchanges in 2010 Affordable Care Act.