Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a one-time GOP critic of President-elect Donald Trump whose name has nonetheless been floated as a potential secretary of state, is “self-serving” and an “egomaniac,” according to Rep. Chris Collins.
“Well, I mean, what do I know about Mitt Romney? I know that he is a self-serving egomaniac who puts himself first, who has a chip on his shoulder, that thinks he should be president of the United States,” Collins (R-N.Y.) said Monday on CNN’s “New Day.” “I mean, there’s no love lost between me and Mitt Romney. I’ve called him a loser for the last six months, even though I supported him.”
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Romney, who was the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, was perhaps the most prominent member of his party to loudly oppose the Manhattan billionaire, labeling him a “phony” and a “fraud” in a speech delivered in March in Salt Lake City. In those remarks, Romney also said Trump’s policies were “flimsy at best,” called his foreign policy “very, very not smart” and attacked his business acumen.
Trump was characteristically not shy in responding to Romney, calling him a “loser” in campaign speeches across the country. But with the presidency won, Trump surprised some by meeting with Romney earlier this month and allowing his name to percolate for the job of secretary of state. That the former 2012 nominee’s name is under consideration appears to have upset some in Trump’s camp, including senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who said Sunday that opposition to Romney among the president-elect’s supporters is “breathtaking in scope and intensity.”
“I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure that we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position,” Conway said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We don’t even know if Mitt Romney voted for Donald Trump.”
Collins, an early endorser of Trump who became one of the real estate mogul’s regular surrogates, took a position similar to Conway’s but couched his criticism by noting that he would support whomever the president-elect picks to lead the State Department.
“My concern is that Mitt Romney is a bit of a lone wolf and might not take the advice or the direction of President-elect Trump. I mean, he is a lone wolf. So, from that perspective, would I choose him? No,” Collins said. “But if President-elect Trump does, I will certainly support that decision. It’s up to the president-elect to surround himself with the people that he thinks can best serve his administration. But I have not seen in Mitt Romney the personality traits of someone who will take direction.”