Mitt Romney has a prediction: Donald Trump will "solidly" win a second term in 2020

"Mitt's a straight shooter — whether people love him or don't love him," President Trump told reporters in response

Published June 8, 2018 5:40PM (EDT)

Donald Trump; Mitt Romney (Getty/Chip Somodevilla/Drew Angerer)
Donald Trump; Mitt Romney (Getty/Chip Somodevilla/Drew Angerer)

Mitt Romney has a bold prediction: President Donald Trump will "solidly" win a second term in 2020.

"I think President Trump will be re-nominated by my party easily, and I think he'll be re-elected solidly," Romney told a group of major GOP donors at a retreat in Deer Valley, Utah on Thursday.

Romney, who had a contentious relationship with Trump during the 2016 campaign and called on the Republican Party to nominate a different candidate, also said an improving economy and the likelihood that Democrats would nominate a candidate outside of mainstream America would improve the president's re-election odds.

For his part, Romney is currently the GOP nominee in the race to be the next senator from the Deseret State in the wake of Orrin Hatch's retirement.

"I think that not just because of the strong economy and because people are increasingly seeing rising wages, but I think it's also true because I think our Democrat friends are likely to nominate someone who is really out of the mainstream of American thought and will make it easier for a president who is presiding over a growing economy," Romney added, according to Politico.

On Friday, Trump praised Romney as a "straight shooter" for divining that he would remain at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for four more years.

"Mitt's a straight shooter — whether people love him or don't love him," Trump told reporters before leaving the White House for the G-7 economic summit in Quebec, Canada, the Associated Press reported.

When a journalist reminded Trump that Romney had called him a "con man" during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, the president only doubled-down on his claim that his once archnemesis was "straight shooter."

"Yeah, he had some very nice things to say," Trump said. "I appreciate that. That's good."

Romney's recent remarks signal a sharp reversal from his original characterization of Trump. Since kicking off his Utah Senate campaign with a veiled swipe at Trump earlier this year, Romney has praised the president's first year in office while saying he disagrees with his "personal style."

In a recent interview with NBC News, Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and the Republican Party's failed 2012 presidential nominee, said he would not "point to the president as a role model for my grandkids on the basis of his personal style. He has departed in some cases from the truth, and has attacked in a way that I think is not entirely appropriate."

After the 2016 presidential race, it seemed that the relationship between Trump and Romney warmed, with the president-elect briefly considering Romney for the role of secretary of state before ultimately choosing Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who has since been fired.

But there continued to be signs pointing to a contentious relationship between the pair. Earlier this year, Trump waged an unsuccessful campaign to convince Hatch to seek re-election and block Romney.

After Hatch announced that he would be retiring, Trump endorsed Romney for the seat.

"Mitt Romney has announced he is running for the Senate from the wonderful State of Utah," Trump tweeted. "He will make a great Senator and a worthy successor to Orrin Hatch, and has my full support and endorsement!"

By Shira Tarlo

MORE FROM Shira Tarlo

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2020 Election Donald Trump Mitt Romney