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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
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Utah Senate candidate and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief GOP senator calls Biden's COVID-19 relief plan a 'non-starter' 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 McSallyCindy McCain on possible GOP censure: 'I think I'm going to make T-shirts' Arizona state GOP moves to censure Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed MORE (R) about where he stands with President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism 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.

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"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 HatchMellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line Bottom line 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.