By all indications, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now fully aboard the Trump train as he prepares for the GOP primary for an open Senate seat in Utah.
In 2016, Romney called President Donald Trump a “con man” and “a fake.” But at the opening remarks of his annual mountainside retreat for business leaders and politicos on Thursday, the former Massachusetts governor predicted Trump would “solidly” win a second term in 2020 after securing the GOP nomination, The Associated Press reported.
Democrats will nominate someone who is out of touch, and the economy has surged under Trump’s stewardship, Romney said, predicting an easy win for Republicans in 2020.
“I think that not just because of the strong economy and the fact that people are going to see increasingly rising wages,” Romney said, according to the AP report. “But I think it’s also true because I think our Democrat friends are likely to nominate someone who is really out of the mainstream of American thought and will make it easier for a president who’s presiding over a growing economy.”
The retreat — where Romney is hosting people such as Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and actor Seth Rogen — will focus, as it does every year, on American leadership domestically and around the world.
Romney’s embrace of another six years of Trump is quite the switch from his open disdain for the president just two years ago.
Now running to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch in his home state of Utah, Romney appears ready to work with the president to enact a Republican policy agenda.
Watch: Hatch — Time to ‘Hang Up the Gloves’
Romney faces a June 26 primary after losing the state GOP nominating convention, 51-49 percent, to state Rep. Mike Kennedy.
Romney is still favored by most experts to win the primary — and then the general election — in a state Trump won by 18 percent in 2016.
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Solid Republican.
Romney does not expect the rest of the three-day mountainside summit this weekend to feature much formal political talk.
Guests will have the opportunity to go skeet shooting with Ryan and hiking with Romney, the AP reported.
“I’m looking forward to an unusual and packed couple of days here,” Romney said. “Campaigns are off limits.”