President-elect Donald Trump is still keeping the country in suspense as it pertains to his choice for secretary of state, but many insiders believe that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is the top contender for the post. Romney, one of Trump’s harshest Republican critics for the past year, met with Trump last weekend. While some have said the Romney pick would be a display of good leadership on Trump’s part, others see it as a slap in the face.
Some in the latter camp are among Trump’s biggest supporters, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Speaking to Fox News this week, Huckabee said that a Romney pick “would be a real insult to all those Donald Trump voters who worked really hard.”
“I’m still very unhappy that Mitt did everything he could to derail Donald Trump,” Huckabee said. “He didn’t just go after him from the standpoint of ‘I disagree with his policy on immigration, I disagree with his policy on taxes.’ He attacked him on a personal level about his character, integrity, his honor.”
In the waning days of the Republican primaries, Romney gave a highly-publicized speech at Utah’s Hinckley University where he condemned the then-frontrunner as a “fraud” who would destroy the party.
Huckabee said that Trump should not even consider Romney for a cabinet position unless he “goes to a microphone in a very public place and repudiates everything he said.”
Gingrich said that Romney was not necessarily on board with the “kind of tough-minded America-first policies that Trump has campaigned on.”
“I can think of 20 other people who would be more naturally compatible with the Trump vision of foreign policy,” Gingrich said.
This isn’t just limited to public appeals. Trump’s top advisor, Kellyanne Conway, told CNN on Thursday that she had received a “deluge” of comments from Trump supporters who are angry about the possible Romney pick.
“I am struck by the intensity and volume of resistance from the grassroots; words like ‘betrayal,’” Conway said. “I communicate with PEOTUS and VPEOTUS privately and regularly so this is not an attempt to do so publicly as some (who missed the election completely) are suggesting.”