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 RomneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration 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 McSally The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation McSally knocks Arizona GOP official's call for supporters to stop Mark Kelly 'dead in his tracks' Top Arizona GOP official asks supporters to help stop 'gun grabber' Mark Kelly 'dead in his tracks' MORE (R) about where he stands with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat 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 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.