Romney defends Trump’s policies as ‘effective,' disputes he led 'never Trump' movement

Romney defends Trump’s policies as ‘effective,' disputes he led 'never Trump' movement
© Getty Images

Utah Senate candidate and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump's no racist; he's an equal opportunity offender Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE claimed Saturday that he wasn't a leader in the "never Trump" movement among conservatives, and said some of the president's policies have been "pretty effective."

Romney was asked following a rally in support of Arizona Senate candidate Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses MORE (R) about where he stands with President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE given his fierce criticism of the president during the 2016 campaign.

"You led the 'never Trump' movement. I mean, what happened with that?" a reporter asked in a video posted online.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I don’t think that was the case," Romney responded. "President Trump was not the person I wanted to become the nominee of our party, but he’s president now. The policies he’s promoted have been pretty effective, and I support a lot of those policies."

He then pivoted to discussing McSally's tight Senate race in Arizona, which he said will determine whether the country will be "guided by conservative principles, or are we going to take a sharp turn left."

Romney during the 2016 campaign delivered a speech blasting then-candidate Trump as a "phony," and a "fraud" who was "playing members of the American public for suckers."

The 2012 GOP presidential nominee and Trump have since patched things up, with the president offering his endorsement as Romney seeks to replace retiring Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah) in the Senate.

Romney has asserted that while he agrees with Trump on a number of policy issues, he will speak out against the president on issues where he disagrees.