Longtime Trump critic Mitt Romney told a group of business and political leaders that he thought President Donald Trump would “solidly” win the 2020 general election after “easily” clinching the GOP nomination.
Mitt Romney, who ran for president in 2012, is running for one of Utah's seats in the U.S. Senate, now that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has announced that he will retire when his term ends this year. Romney is favored to win the GOP nomination on June 26 and the general election in November.
What exactly did he say?
“I think President Trump will be re-nominated by my party easily, and I think he’ll be re-elected solidly,” Romney told those gathered. He added:
“I think that not just because of the strong economy and because people are increasingly seeing rising wages, but I think it’s also true because I think our Democrat friends are likely to nominate someone who is really out of the mainstream of American thought and will make it easier for a president who is presiding over a growing economy.”
Does this mean that Romney is pro-Trump now?
Not necessarily. This seems like it's more of an observation than an endorsement.
While Romney has eased up on his criticism of the president in the past year, and Trump endorsed Romney for his likely Senate seat, he still has not come out as pro-Trump.
On May 28, Romney said that he did would not point to Trump as a “role model for my grandkids on the basis of his personal style. ... He has departed in some cases from the truth and has attacked in a way that I think is not entirely appropriate.”
However, Romney also said, “I believe his policies have been by and large a good deal better than I might have expected.”
Who was at this meeting?
Romney made these comments at his annual E2 Summit. Romney uses the summit to bring together people that he sees as "Experts and Enthusiasts" from both parties.
This year's attendees included House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) former New York City Mayor (and the world's 10th richest person) Michael Bloomberg, investor Stephen Schwarzman, soon-to-be-retired Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz, and short-term White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
During that same meeting, Romney predicted that the GOP would keep both houses of Congress in November, despite Democratic hype about a coming “blue wave.”
“I think that growth and the higher incomes people are seeing means that Republicans will do just fine in November,” Romney said. “I think we will hold the House, I think we’ll hold the Senate. I know a lot of pundits don’t believe that. I think we will.”