President Donald Trump's is endorsing Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney — a man he once called "one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics." And, once again, Trump is the Republican Party's kingmaker.
The move all but solidifies a clear path to victory for Romney, but also serves as a reminder that the Republican Party — despite its majority control — is still a fractured party that tends to appear more cohesive than it actually may be.
What feels like many moons ago, Romney was the head honcho of the #NeverTrump movement, a short-lived moment of reckoning for the GOP in which, at least some of the public, believed it would separate itself from Trump's unapologetic and unhinged style of politics.
"If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished," Romney once warned in a speech at the University of Utah.
But those days are long gone. Trump has stumbled his way into his second year in office, and the contentious 2018 midterm elections are on the horizon. All while a blue wave appears to be gaining traction across the country, and Republican leadership has even come to expect to suffer some losses come November.
"The odds are that we will lose seats in the House and the Senate," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told The New York Times in an interview last week. "History tells you that, the fired-up nature of the political left tells you that. We go into this cleareyed that this is going to be quite a challenging election."
The Republican Party is trying to save whatever is left of its brand, and guys like Romney and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., — who is now reconsidering his decision to retire — need to make amends with the president they once loudly denounced. All roads now run through Trump, and the party must exhibit nothing but devout loyalty out of fear of retribution from the White House.
Much like Corker, the failed 2012 presidential candidate served up another win for Trump. Much of the public knows the true feelings Corker and Romney likely hold towards the president, though it's still unclear if Trump will be as forgiving with Corker as he has been with Romney.
Romney's Senate run announcement video seemed to take a jab at the Trump administration on immigration policy. "Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world," Romney said, according to Politico. "Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion." But for the sake of the party, the boys have decided to play nice — at least for now.
Here are some of the Trump-Romney feud's best moments.