- The Washington Times - Monday, February 19, 2018

President Trump reversed years of animus against his predecessor as Republican presidential nominee, endorsing Mitt Romney for Utah’s U.S. Senate seat.

Mr. Romney “has announced he is running for the Senate from the wonderful State of Utah. He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday evening.

About a half-hour later, Mr. Romney replied to Mr. Trump, saying “thank you” for his support, adding that he also hoped he would “earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah.”

The ringing support from Mr. Trump, complete with an exclamation point, and the cordial response from Mr. Romney are a far cry from the previous relationship between the two men.

In March 2016, Mr. Romney delivered a blistering speech in which he called Mr. Trump a “fraud,” said his promises were “worthless,” and said he was “playing the American public for suckers.” He predicted that nominating Mr. Trump would guarantee the election of Hillary Clinton as president.

During Mr. Trump’s administration, Mr. Romney has frequently criticized Mr. Trump on such issues as immigration, most pointedly calling his “s—hole” countries remark “antithetical to American values.”

Mr. Trump, as usual, has returned fire in kind.

He responded to the 2016 speech by calling Mr. Romney a “choke artist” and “stiff,” and said his speech was “another desperate move by the man who should have easily beaten Barack Obama.”

However, Mr. Trump did interview Mr. Romney as a possible nominee for secretary of state, before giving the position to oil executive Rex Tillerson.

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