Mitt Romney, who for months told the American public Donald Trump was unfit for the White House, spent more than an hour Saturday discussing global affairs with the president-elect.
The meeting began around 1 p.m. at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence greeting the 2012 GOP presidential nominee at the clubhouse door. It ended around 2:20 p.m. with Trump seeing him off, and Romney making a brief statement to reporters.
"We had a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance," Romney said. "We discussed those areas and exchanged our views on those topics — a very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had and, I appreciated the chance to speak with the president-elect and look forward to the coming administration."
As Romney approached reporters, Trump cupped his hands around his mouth and said "it went great," according to a pool report.
There was no confirmation or suggestion of a job offer despite reports of Romney's interest in the secretary of State post. Analysts say it’s doubtful Trump would offer a job in his administration or that Romney would accept it given the verbal jabs they exchanged on the trail.
Former Arkansas Governor and Trump confidante Mike Huckabee said it "doesn't make any sense" to give someone who was such a vocal critic a top cabinet post.
"To give a guy a job who basically said all his supporters were following a con man, I just think that would be an insult to the voters," Huckabee told Fox News Saturday. "You don't entrust one of the of the most important parts of your administration and your entire presidency to people who fundamentally don't think you have any business sitting in that chair offering them the job."
During the campaign, Romney called Trump a “phony ... a fraud ...(and) a con man,” among other pointed criticisms. He also wrote on Facebook that Trump’s refusal to release his tax records was “disqualifying.”
Trump responded that Romney was “irrelevant (and) a choke artist.” He tweeted often about Romney, at one point calling him a “dope!”
Mitt Romney, who was one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics, is now pushing me on tax returns. Dope!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2016
Romney was the first of several high-profile visitors meeting with Trump and Pence this weekend. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are expected to meet with the incoming president Sunday.
Also on the schedule are:
Former Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, School voucher advocate Betsy DeVos, retired U.S. Marine Corps general James Mattis, Chicago Cubs owner and GOP fundraiser Todd Ricketts, Center for Neighborhood Enterprises President Bob Woodson, Republican National Committee finance chair and businessman Lew Eisenberg (Commerce), and surgeon and businessman Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Aside from Giuliani and Christie, Sunday’s lineup of visitors includes: conservative writer John Gray, immigration hardliner Kris Kobach, venture capitalist Wilbur Ross, BET founder Robert Johnson, and global investor David McCormick.
Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Trump transition team, said the roster of visitors “shows the reach and the depth to which we’re going to pull in diverse ideas and different perspective as we form this administration.”
Some of the visitors are potential administration hires and some “are coming purely to offer their advice,” Miller said. “But I think this also shows that the president-elect is even bringing folks together when they have been on the opposite of him politically.”
Trump has already begun forming his national security team, selecting retired Army lieutenant general Michael Flynn as national security adviser, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, and Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., as his pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.
Sean Spicer, another Trump spokesman, said it’s possible at least one more member of that team gets named Saturday.