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Flip flop? Mitt Romney explains how he went from a Donald denier to a Trump cheerleader

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Mitt Romney speaks to reporters after dining with President-elect Donald Trump at Jean Georges restaurant, November 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been assailed by many for being the titular head of the "Never Trump" movement and then becoming a cheerleader for the president-elect after his stunning victory.

Harry Reid has been especially venomous in attempting to bash the former presidential candidate:

“This is man who came out big-time against Trump. Oh, the things he said about Trump. Well, that’s great, that’s wonderful,” Reid said. “Either he wasn’t telling the truth, or he’s a person with no character. After having said that, to go and do homage to this guy he said awful things about, I don’t think that shows much character.”

“Mitt Romney is somebody I had respect for,” Reid said, in a somewhat dubious assertion. “I have none anymore.”

Reid's critique must be taken alongside his own avowal that he lied about Romney's taxes during the election just for the sake of damaging his reputation. When asked later to defend lying on the floor of the Senate, he mocked Romney, relishing his own aptitude for mendacity.

So it's not too surprising that Romney would cast aside the critique while defending his apparent flip flop on Trump:

Romney’s defenders have framed his decision to offer himself up for the secretary of state position as an act of patriotism. The same defenders say Reid is simply being petty. In a statement to HuffPost, Romney expressed no regret for changing his approach to a president-elect he once called a con artist. 

“I was indeed very critical of Mr. Trump during his campaign. But now he has been elected president and accordingly, if I could have helped shape foreign policy to protect the country I love, I would have been more than willing to do so,” Romney said through a spokesperson. “As for Mr. Reid, I lost respect for him when he repeatedly lied about my taxes and later admitted to it cheerily. Good riddance, Mr. Reid. The Senate will be better served without you in it.”

This is the quandary that many Trump critics in the conservative right are facing now, and Romney is at least honest enough to admit it. Is it better to continue resisting him after he's won the election, or to join the cause and help steer it towards conservatism? Mitt Romney has made his choice clear, anyway.

But whether Trump is actually considering Romney for an administration post, or simply "torturing" him as his ally Roger Stone says, is yet to be seen.

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