Donald Trump's allies don't want him to pick Mitt Romney to be secretary of state

Romney's name is being downplayed by those in Trump's inner circle

By Matthew Rozsa

Published November 25, 2016 1:33PM (EST)


A lot of powerful people in Donald Trump's inner circle don't want Mitt Romney to be the president-elect's secretary of state.

Although Trump has apparently told aides that Romney "looks the part" and would do a fine job in the role, many in the Republican establishment are dismayed with Romney's harsh denunciations of Trump, and wish he would appoint someone more genuinely loyal. This includes Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

According to a report from The New York Times on Thursday, Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon is also opposed to Romney's selection because of the latter's characterization of Trump as a "phony" and a "fraud" and are concerned that Romney would turn the State Department into a rogue agency.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made his thoughts on Romney known during an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Tuesday. After pointing out that Romney had once wanted to be president himself, he asked “to what degree would Romney, once he became secretary of state, represent himself?” In addition, Gingrich questioned "to what extent would he actually represent the kind of tough-minded ‘America first’ policies that Trump has campaigned on?”

Similarly, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee questioned whether Romney is worthy of representing President-elect Trump in other countries given his earlier harsh rhetoric.

“It would be a real insult to all those Donald Trump voters who worked really hard,” Huckabee explained on "Fox and Friends" on Wednesday. “When you go after a person who is the nominee of your party, who has been duly nominated by the voters . . . you’re savaging the voters. You’re not just savaging Donald Trump.”

The New York Times also pointed out that Conway defended her tweet by pointing out that the grass-roots supporters for Trump seem most outraged "not against something he said, but something he may do." She also wrote that being "loyal" was the most important quality for a secretary of state.

Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was one of Trump's most loyal supporters during the presidential campaign, has been similarly distrusting toward Romney.
"Mitt Romney reportedly is being considered for secretary of state?," Hannity asked last Thursday. "Look, I think Mitt Romney would have been a great president but the way he acted here? No loyalty. He should not be under consideration, in my view. Your thoughts."
Romney's potential appointment could even alienate Trump from the regime of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, whom he had previously considered to be one of his closest possible allies. The Russian publication Obozrevatel announced the possible pick with the headline "Secretary of State Russophobe," while the state-owned channel NTV insisted that "in America and beyond its borders, Romney is called one of the biggest Russophobes."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway Mike Huckabee Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich Sean Hannity Steve Bannon