President-elect Donald Trump will meet this weekend with one of his fiercest critics: 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, a senior Republican source told CNN on Thursday.
The two men are set to meet this weekend to discuss “governing moving forward” and potentially a role for Romney in Trump’s Cabinet, the source said.The source declined to specify for which Cabinet positions Romney is under consideration.
The meeting is the latest in a series of Trump’s conversations and encounters with Republicans who did not support his candidacy in an effort to reunite the GOP following a divisive election that fractured party leaders past the Republican primary and into the general election.
It also comes as Trump has a jam-packed schedule Thursday and the President-elect’s team looks to tamp down reports of disarray and infighting within the transition effort, which has been slow to ramp up following Trump’s shocking upset victory last week.
A Romney appointment would be a startling shift in the two men’s relationship.Trump, who endorsed Romney in 2012, repeatedly slammed the former GOP standard bearer during his ultimately successful bid for the a Republican nomination for his defeat to President Barack Obama, describing him in characteristically colorful terms as a failure. Romney returned fire, repeatedly and forcefully arguing that Trump was not qualified to serve as commander-in-chief.
In an eviscerating speech last March, before Trump clinched the Republican nomination, Romney slammed Trump as a “con man,” a “phony” and “a fraud.”Romney refused to endorse Trump in the general election. He argued In favor of allowing the Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson onto the debate stage, but did not endorse him either.
Romney also actively sought to recruit a third-party candidate to carry the conservative banner into the 2016 general election and continued to level heated criticism against Trump in the general election.
In a June interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Romney warned that Trump’s presidency could usher in “trickle-down racism.”Romney and Trump’s meeting will come a week after Romney called to congratulate Trump on his victory, a call Trump tweeted was “very nice!”