Mike Pence confirms Mitt Romney is a top pick for secretary of state under president Donald Trump

The former Masschusetts governor was one of Mr Trump's fiercest critics during the election

Feliks Garcia
New York
,Rachael Revesz
Saturday 19 November 2016 19:57
<em>Drew Angerer/Getty</em>
Drew Angerer/Getty

Vice president-elect Mike Pence has confirmed that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is a top pick for secretary of state.

"Governor Romney is under active and serious consideration to serve as secretary of state of the United States," said Mr Pence during an interview with CBS.

The remark made clear that the meeting of the three officials this weekend was far more than an attempt to repair his relationship with president-elect Donald Trump after months of mutual attacks during the presidential campaign.

Mr Romney said on Saturday that he was "looking forward to" the coming administration following his meeting with Mr Trump, the man he described as a "fraud" and a "phony" as late as March this year.

The former Republican presidential candidate, who lost out to president Obama in 2012, greeted the New York businessman and Mr Pence at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

"We had a far-reaching conversation, with regard to the various theatres where there are interests of the United States of real signifcance," he told reporters following the meeting.

"We discussed those areas and exchanged our views on those topics. Very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had, and appreciate the chance to speak with the president-elect and look forward to the coming administration."

It still remains unclear whether Mr Trump will actually offer the State Department to Mr Romney.

In June, Mr Romney accused Mr Trump of racism and bigotry – statements reaffirmed by his appointment of right-wing hardliners with histories of racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and Islamophobia.

"I don’t want to see a President of the United States saying things which change the character of generations of Americans that are following,” Mr Romney said.

"Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle-down racism and trickle-down bigotry and trickle-down misogyny – all of these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America."