3 reasons why Mitt Romney is Trump’s best option for secretary of State
© Getty Images

This past Saturday, former Republican presidential nominee and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was one of many high-profile visitors to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE’s Bedminster, N.J., golf resort.

By all accounts, the purpose of Romney’s audience with Trump was to discuss an appointment as secretary of State in Trump’s Cabinet.

Romney described his meeting with Trump as “a far-reaching conversation with regard to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance.”

On Sunday, Vice President-elect Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceShort defends Trump's tweets as a 'very effective way' to communicate with Americans Trump's 'two steps forward, one step backward' strategy with China The state of the Democratic primary: Heading to a brokered convention?   MORE confirmed that "The President-elect was very grateful that Governor Mitt Romney came in. They had a good meeting. It was a warm and substantive exchange. I know he is under active consideration to be Secretary of State of the United States along with some other distinguished Americans.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Indeed, it seems possible that Romney, a leader of the Never Trump movement who harshly criticized the president-elect during the campaign, could emerge with a key post in the Trump administration.

And if the president-elect is serious about protecting American values, interests and allies around the world, he should appoint Mitt Romney secretary of State.

All of this is not to take anything away from former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who at another time and under different circumstances would be a terrific secretary of state. Mayor Guiliani holds views very similar to Romney, and holds the promise of offering a great deal to the incoming Trump administration — whether it be in a domestic or international context.

Appointing Romney to a top Cabinet post would unify the Republican Party, and provide a useful counter to the occasionally isolationist worldview Trump has espoused, as well as the troublingly pro-Putin attitude of newly appointed national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. 

Mitt Romney has three key qualities that recommend him to the position of secretary of State: experience, credibility and independence.

His experience is both deep and broad. He is a former Republican governor of deeply blue Massachusetts, a well-regarded and highly accomplished businessman, as well as one of the most respected leaders of the Republican Party. Over 60 million Americans voted for him to be president, and he is a globally recognizable figure who already has relationships with many foreign leaders.

Romney’s valuable experience and measured, results-oriented approach to policy would temper Trump and add balance to a national security team that includes controversial firebrand Flynn.

Indeed, Romney’s calm demeanor and realistic worldview would reassure both domestic and foreign critics of Trump’s national security agenda, and Romney would be a friendly, familiar messenger for Trump’s policies.

Romney also has credibility with foreign policy experts, international leaders and the global business community — something that Trump lacks. Experienced diplomats and analysts who might hesitate at joining a Trump administration would surely join Romney’s team, while foreign leaders who have decried Trump will always take Romney’s call.

Romney’s relationship with the business and investor community will also be enormously helpful to the incoming president, who has promised to reverse America’s trade deficit while bringing millions of jobs and billions of investment dollars back to our shores. Romney is one of the only individuals with the public policy know-how, business acumen and world-spanning reputation to implement Trump’s vision.

Finally, Romney has the strength of character and courage of his convictions to be an independent voice in the Trump administration.

Romney would be a reliable advocate for strong and decisive engagement with the international community to advance American interests around the world, take a tough approach to Russia, China and Iran, fight terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al Qaeda, and promote American trade interests abroad.

It was Romney who, four years ago, correctly identified “Russia, typically with China alongside” as a “geopolitical foe,” and was mocked by Obama for it. Today, with the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Syria, as well as Vladimir Putin’s patronage of Iran and North Korea, it is clear that Romney was right. 

Indeed, Romney accurately grasped that Russia has “continued to arm the regime of Syria’s vicious dictator and blocked multilateral efforts to stop the ongoing carnage there. Across the board, [Russia] has been a thorn in our side on questions vital to America’s national security.”

Given the questions that have been raised over Putin’s involvement in the presidential election, and the outright pro-Russia sentiments of Trump’s pick for national security adviser, Romney’s clearheaded and independent understanding of the Russian threat will be vital to preserving American national security.

Put simply, Mitt Romney is Donald Trump’s best choice for secretary of State, with extensive experience, global credibility and policy independence that will enable Trump to execute his foreign policy agenda, fight back against dictators and terrorists around the world, and secure America’s economic global economic relationships.

If Trump wishes to be a successful president and deliver on his campaign promises, he should appoint Mitt Romney as secretary of State.

 

Douglas E. Schoen served as a pollster for President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDemocrats' choice: Unite or go down to defeat Biden says he has to do 'really well' in South Carolina Klobuchar says English should not be US national language, reversing from prior vote MORE. A longtime political consultant and pollster, he is also a Fox News contributor and the author of 11 books. His latest book is Putin's Master Plan: To Destroy Europe, Divide NATO, and Restore Russian Power and Global Influence (Encounter, 2016). Available at Amazon. Follow him on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.