In 2012, as Mitt Romney was wrapping up the Republicans' presidential nomination, he welcomed a public endorsement from Donald Trump. At the time, this was not without controversy; Trump was widely seen as a ridiculous television personality who championed a racist conspiracy theory.
But Romney, eager to lock up support from conservatives who agreed with Trump, welcomed the support anyway, literally standing alongside him at a 2012 event.
The alliance didn't last. By 2014, when Trump was weighing his own presidential campaign, he started taking shots at Romney, and that intensified in 2015. By March 2016, the feeling was mutual: Romney delivered a blistering condemnation of Trump's candidacy, telling voters, "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing the members of the American public for suckers."
That same week, Romney expressed some regret for having accepted Trump's endorsement four years earlier. (It was also around this time that Trump described Romney as "one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics.")
Nevertheless, Romney changed his mind again after Trump was actually elected and Romney saw an opportunity to become Secretary of State -- a chance Trump seemed eager to dangle, right up until he yanked it away.
A year later, the dance continues. Romney, once described by Trump as a "stone cold loser," yesterday picked up Trump's endorsement for his Senate campaign.
President Donald Trump is endorsing Mitt Romney in Utah's Senate race, another sign that the two Republicans are burying the hatchet after a fraught relationship.
The GOP's presidential nominee in 2012, Romney announced last week he would seek the nomination to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch. In a tweet Monday night, Trump wrote, "He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!" Romney quickly accepted the endorsement via Twitter.
This was not necessarily an inevitability.