WEST VALLEY, Utah (CNN) – Mitt Romney said Saturday that he could not yet commit to supporting Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, making it clear that he intends to stake his claim as an independent voice for Utah.
“I will make that decision down the road,” Romney, who is running for US Senate, said in an interview with CNN as he waited for his turn to speak at the Utah GOP convention where he was vying for his party’s nomination. “As a person of political experience, if I endorse someone, I’ll want to know what’s in it for Utah and what help would he provide for us on key priorities in Utah.”
“So I’m not a cheap date,” he said.
Romney said he assumed there would be Republican contenders who will challenge Trump, but underscored, “I also assume that President Trump will be the nominee of our party in 2020.”
As he has campaigned across Utah, Romney has pointed out that he largely agrees with Trump on policy but takes issue with some of his harsh rhetoric.
But he was a fierce critic of Trump during the primary phase of the 2016 presidential race, calling him out as an imposter and criticizing his harsh tone on immigrants from Mexico, and criticizing Trump’s crude comments about women.