[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images] — Follow Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) on Twitter
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. — Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 20, 2018
President Donald Trump endorsed longtime foe Mitt Romney for Utah Senate on Monday night, saying the former 2012 presidential candidate has his “full support and endorsement!” meme-worthy photo, and Romney soon returned to his position as one of Trump’s most fierce critics. Romney’s announcement video for his Senate run — in which he seeks to replace outgoing Sen. Orrin Hatch — he took some subtle jabs at Trump, stating, “Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world, Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion.” “And on Utah’s Capitol Hill, people treat one another with respect,” Romney added. It’s unclear what compelled Trump to endorse a candidate who is presumably running to oppose his administration, but he may have been convinced by Romney’s near-certain win in Utah — the state is deep-red enough to ensure his victory over a Democrat, and polite enough to ensure the same result over a Trumpian Republican. Fun flashback: watch the last time Trump endorsed Romney for something. UPDATE – 10:05 p.m. EST: Romney expressed thanks for the thumbs-up.