Sen.-elect Mitt Romney (R-Utah) may have criticized Donald Trump in a Washington Post op-ed, but he apparently didn’t have a problem accepting the president’s endorsement during last year’s Senate race.
During a CNN interview on Wednesday, Jake Tapper pressed the onetime Republican presidential candidate on whether that was a mistake.
Tapper pointed to a Twitter message from 2016 ― two years before Romney accepted the president’s endorsement in 2018 ― in which Romney seemed to reject the idea wholesale. Romney claimed in the tweet that he wouldn’t have accepted Trump’s endorsement in the 2012 presidential race if Trump had made the same sort of inappropriate comments about the Klan, Muslims and people with disabilities he became known for later, according to Raw Story.
“Now, some people point out, OK, he hadn’t said those things, but he was the nation’s leading birther, pushing the lie that Barack Obama, the first African-American president, was born in Africa,” Tapper said. “Again, a lie. And you accepted his endorsement even though that was his political claim to fame.”
Then Tapper asked Romney point-blank: “Was that a mistake?”
The senator-elect tried to slip out of that potentially awkward question by saying, “You know, I’m sure I’ve made a lot of mistakes.”
Tapper then pushed harder: “Is that one of them?”
Romney refused to acknowledge his potential hypocrisy, saying he’d let the American people decide that.
“I will let the people make the assessment of which things were mistakes and not,” he said, before justifying why he accepted Trump’s endorsement in 2018. “But when the president of the United States, frankly of either party, were to say ‘I’m endorsing your candidacy,’ I think you’d say thank you very much.”
Romney also emphasized that in his campaign to be a Utah senator campaign, Trump was “endorsing me, I wasn’t endorsing him.”
Although Romney told Tapper he would support Trump’s proposed border wall, he wouldn’t say if he would support the president’s re-election.
“I haven’t decided who I’m going to endorse in 2020. I going to wait and see what the alternatives are,” he said.
You can see the complete segment below: