Six years later, a lot has changed, and yet things don’t appear much different from that February 2012 night when Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
Trump, now himself the president, endorsed Romney again Monday night, as the former Massachusetts governor embarks on a campaign for the U.S. Senate in Utah. However, the pair of endorsements paper over what has been a dizzying and often vitriolic public relationship between the two men, perhaps the most prominent representatives of the two dueling factions inside the Republican Party.
Here’s a look back at their hot-and-cold relationship in 13 quotes:
1. Mitt Romney, Feb. 2, 2012: “Being in Donald Trump’s magnificent hotel and getting his endorsement is a delight. I’m so honored and pleased to have his endorsement.”
2. Donald Trump, Feb. 2, 2012: “Mitt Romney is a warm, terrific guy, smart as can be, and really, he’s got a tough edge to him, which is a tremendous thing because we need a tough edge in this country. He gets it. He’s a great businessman. I think he’s a really natural businessman, which is very important. And I think he’ll do a great job.”
3. Trump, Feb. 25, 2016: “Mitt Romney, who was one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics, is now pushing me on tax returns. Dope!”
4. Romney, March 3, 2016: “This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss. Here’s what I know. 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.”
5. Romney, March 3, 2016: “If Trump had said 4 years ago the things he says today about the KKK, Muslims, Mexicans, disabled, I would NOT have accepted his endorsement.”
6. Trump, March 5, 2016: “@MittRomney was a disaster candidate who had no guts and choked! Romney is a total joke, and everyone knows it!”
7. Romney, Oct. 8, 2016: “Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world.”
8. Romney, Nov. 9, 2016: “Best wishes for our duly elected president: May his victory speech be his guide and preserving the Republic his aim.”
9. Trump, Nov. 13, 2016: “Mitt Romney called to congratulate me on the win. Very nice!”
10. Romney, Dec. 12, 2016: “My discussions with President-elect Trump have been both enjoyable and enlightening. I have very high hopes that the new administration will lead the nation to greater strength, prosperity and peace.”
11. Romney, Aug. 18, 2017: “Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn. His apologists strain to explain that he didn’t mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.”
12. Romney, Jan. 15, 2018: “The poverty of an aspiring immigrant’s nation of origin is as irrelevant as their race. The sentiment attributed to POTUS is inconsistent with America’s history and antithetical to American values.”
13. Romney, Feb. 19, 2018: “Thank you Mr. President for the support. I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah.”