‘I’m still very unhappy that Mitt did everything he could to derail Donald Trump,’ Huckabee said.
Some of Donald Trump’s allies are steering him away from tapping one of his fiercest critics to lead his State Department.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday morning both cast 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney as a detractor who’s unlikely to be loyal to Trump. The president-elect is reportedly seriously considering naming Romney his secretary of state.
Huckabee warned that appointments of disloyal Republicans could prove to be a distraction in a president’s administration, arguing that such a person could be a problem because he or she doesn’t have a sense of commitment to or compatibility with the president-elect.
“It’s not about that I don’t care for Mitt personally, but I’m still very unhappy that Mitt did everything he could to derail Donald Trump,” Huckabee told Fox News. “He didn’t just go after him from a standpoint of saying I disagree with his policy on immigration or I disagree with his policy on taxes. He attacked him on a personal level about his character, integrity, his honor.”
Romney delivered a blistering speech in March in Salt Lake City in which he called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud.” He also tried to pick a convention floor fight, boldly calling on voters to cast their primary ballot for whatever Republican had a chance to beat Trump in their state.
Huckabee accused Romney of not only “savaging” the man Republicans overwhelmingly elected as their nominee with his rhetoric during the campaign, but also “savaging the voters.”
“It would be a real insult to all those Donald Trump voters who worked really hard. That’s what I think he has to stop and consider,” Huckabee said.
The only way Romney “could even be considered for a post like that,” he continued, is if “he goes to a microphone in a very public place and repudiates everything he said in that famous Salt Lake City speech and everything he said after that, where he said Donald Trump wasn’t fit, that he lacked character. I mean on and on. That’s beyond just the normal political infighting that we all experience.”
Gingrich characterized Romney as Trump’s “most vicious and most explicit opponent all through the campaign on the Republican side” and suggested his loyalty would be to himself, citing his presidential aspirations.
“You have to list out all the things he said and think, ‘Is this guy really gonna be loyal?’ But also, you know, Governor Romney wanted to be president, not secretary of state, and you have to ask the question: When he goes overseas, is he gonna be the secretary of state for President Trump or is he gonna be Mitt Romney’s own secretary state?” Gingrich asked. “I will support whoever President-elect Trump picks because he has the right, I think as the new president, to build the team he wants to build, but I would suggest there are a lot of other people who are more qualified than Romney in foreign policy and who are also have not been as actively hostile as he’s been.”