When it was announced that Donald Trump was considering Mitt Romney for secretary of state, it was shocking enough. To now have his own top advisors slamming Romney in the press makes you wonder just what kind of fight is being had inside Trump Tower.
Top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on the Sunday shows and was not shy about expressing her reservations about Romney.
“People feel betrayed to think that Romney, who went out of his way to question the character and the intellect and the integrity of Donald Trump, would be given the most significant Cabinet post of all,” Conway said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Later on CNN, Conway said, “We don’t even know if he voted for Donald Trump. He and his consultants were nothing but awful to Donald Trump for a year.
“I’m all for party unity,” she continued. “But I’m not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position. I think there are concerns that those of us that are loyal have, and we want a secretary of state who’s loyal to the president.”
Sources inside the transition say that Conway and Steve Bannon are encouraging Trump to go with Rudy Giuliani while Vice President-elect Mike Pence is pushing Trump towards Romney. Pence’s argument is that Romney would help the administration reach out to moderate Republicans who aren’t crazy about Trump. Conway and Bannon feel it’s more important for Trump to reward loyalty and surround himself with trusted allies.
Trump, by naming Nikki Haley his UN Ambassador, has already shown that he’s willing to overlook the past, but there’s a wide gulf between the past he had with Haley and the past he had with Romney. No other Republican in the NeverTrump camp was as vicious as Romney was in opposing Trump’s candidacy. Trump’s supporters may not feel “betrayed” by the choice, precisely, but they might be a little confused.
Romney’s fans might feel the same way, actually.