Mitt Romney, the former GOP presidential nominee being considered for secretary of State, praised President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday night after a dinner in New York.
“I happen to think that America’s best days are ahead of us,” Mitt Romney said after dinner, according to pool reports. “I think you’re going to see America continue to lead the world in this century.”
Romney, who said he was discussing “affairs throughout the world” with Trump, told reporters he was “impressed” with how Trump handled his victory speech and his transition efforts, naming Cabinet-level nominees such as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.
“All of those things combined gives me increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future,” Romney said at around 9:30 p.m. ET in the lobby of Trump Tower. Trump left through a different exit as Romney addressed reporters, according to pool reports.
He did not respond to questions about whether they have a similar view on Russia, if he apologized for his past criticism of Trump and who paid for dinner, according to the pool reports.
Mitt Romney ate with Trump and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at Jean Georges, an upscale French restaurant at Trump Tower. This is the second meeting between Trump and Romney, once a fierce critic, in the weeks since the election.
The secretary of State post isn’t necessarily a done deal for Romney. Trump also met with Sen. Bob Corker, another contender for the State post, on Tuesday in New York City. The senator said earlier this month he believes someone else is more likely to get the job — probably someone who was involved in Trump’s campaign. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani also expressed interest the position.
Romney is seen as a favorite for secretary of State among established Republicans, but others, such as aide Kellyanne Conway, have criticized Trump for considering someone who was so critical of him during the presidential campaign.
“People feel betrayed to think that Governor Romney — who went out of his way to question the character and the intellect and the integrity of Donald Trump, now our president-elect — would be given the most significant cabinet post of all, secretary of State,” Conway said Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press.
But Romney seems to be singing a different tune these days.
“By the way, it’s not easy winning. I know that myself. He did something I tried to do and was unsuccessful in,” Romney said. “He won the general election and he continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together and his vision is something which obviously connected with the American people in a very powerful way.”