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 RomneyMellman: Looking to Iowa Potential Dem defectors face pressure on impeachment Athlete Peter Frates dies of ALS after becoming face of Ice Bucket Challenge 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 McSallyGroup of veterans call on lawmakers to support impeachment, 'put country over politics' Here are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Overnight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 MORE (R) about where he stands with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump supporters at Pa. rally 'upset' after Democrats introduce impeachment articles Trump on removal of protester at rally: 'We don't want to be politically correct' Trump rails against FBI, impeachment during Pennsylvania rally 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 HatchKey Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Trump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals 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.