Mitt Romney on Friday told reporters he has not been a leader of the “Never Trump” movement among Republicans, a statement that contradicted strongly critical remarks made on the 2016 campaign trail and in the years since.
The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee is running for Senate in Utah. On Friday, he attended a rally in a suburb of Phoenix in support of the GOP senatorial candidate in Arizona, Martha McSally.
Asked, “You led the Never Trump movement, what happened with that?” a smiling Romney said: “I don’t think that was the case.
“President Trump was not the person I wanted to become the nominee of our party but he’s president now.
“The policies he’s promoted have been pretty effective and I support a lot of those policies. When there’s a place where I disagree I point that out.”
In March 2016, Romney opened fire on the then Republican frontrunner when he told a crowd in Salt Lake City: “If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.”
That jarred with what he added on Friday night in Arizona: “Right now we’re in a place where we’re going to say, ‘Are we going to be guided by conservative principles or are we going to take a sharp turn left?’ And conservative principles work and that’s why I think people are going to get behind Martha McSally and Republicans across the country.”
Asked if he would support investigations into Trump if he reaches the Senate, Romney smiled and walked away.
Tim Aalders for Senate