Many in the Washington establishment are urging President-elect Donald Trump to choose Mitt Romney for Secretary of State, but his senior advisor Kellyanne Conway is giving the grassroots anti-Romney movement a voice.
“It’s just breathtaking in scope and intensity the type of messages I have received from all over the country,” Conway explained in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday. Bash questioned Conway about her decision to stand up for the grassroots Trump supporters who were outraged by the idea of Romney serving in Trump’s administration.
“Receiving deluge of social media & private comms re: Romney Some Trump loyalists warn against Romney as sec of state,” she wrote on Twitter on Thanksgiving.
During her interview with CNN, Conway went further, saying that Trump’s loyal supporters would feel “betrayed” if Trump gave Romney a prominent position.
“As his former campaign manager, the number of people who feel betrayed to think that a Governor Romney would get the most prominent Cabinet post, after he went so far out of his way to hurt Donald Trump,” she explained.
Romney attacked Trump publicly and personally on multiple occasions, accusing Trump of fueling “trickle-down racism” if he won, and calling him a “phony” and a “fraud.”
On a Fox Business interview in March, Romney said he couldn’t vote for Trump.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for a person who has been as degrading, disruptive and unhinged as I’ve seen Donald Trump be,” he explained.
On March 18, Romney signaled support for Ted Cruz, Trump’s last opponent in the Republican primary.
“Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence,” he wrote on Facebook. “I am repulsed by each and every one of these.”
Conway added that Romney’s league of former staffers were also adamantly against Trump, writing nasty things about him on Twitter.
“Their Twitter feeds were complete 100 percent anti-Trump screed,” she said.
Romney, she added, was a loser, and lost big in his own presidential run, proving that his political instincts were terrible and he hadn’t proved himself on the world stage either.
“I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure that we have to pay for that with the secretary of State position,” she said.
Prominent never-Trumper and Bush family surrogate Ana Navarro appeared upset by Conway’s argument against Romney.
“Astounding to hear K. Conway, who has the ability to tell Trump privately, trash possibility of Romney as Sec of State publicly on CNN,” Navarro wrote on Twitter.
Conway replied: “I did tell him privately. And I’ll respect his decision. Point is the volume & intensity of grassroots resistance to Romney is breathtaking.”