President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s run for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, despite Romney often being critical of Trump.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Romney excoriated Trump as a “fraud” who was “playing the American public for suckers.” Trump responded that Romney had “choked like a dog” in his 2012 campaign against President Barack Obama.
Trump said on Twitter that Romney “will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!” Romney announced Friday he would run to replace retiring Senator Orrin Hatch.
Romney thanked Trump for the endorsement in a Tweet posted soon after the president’s statement. “I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah,” Romney said.
Despite Romney’s prior criticism, after Trump won the presidency in November 2016, he briefly considered picking Romney as secretary of state.
Republicans hold 51 of the Senate’s 100 seats but many legislative issues require getting the support of 60 senators.