20 February, 2018
Romney - the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and former MA governor - announced Friday that he would run to succeed Sen.
Trump's endorsement is significant, given that Romney was one of his fiercest critics among Republicans when the billionaire businessman stormed to the party's nomination in 2016.
Trump's support could provide a lift to Romney in a state that the president won by 18 percentage points in 2016.
"Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world", he said in his announcement video.
"I see way too much demagoguery and populism on both sides of the aisle, and I only hope and aspire we'll see more greatness", he said in March 2016. The longtime senator announced his retirement in January even as Trump pushed him to run again.More news: United States military parades: Here's what they've been like in the past
Romney launched his bid for a political comeback on Friday, making official the rumors that he would run to replace Utah's retiring Senator Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate.
Romney said last week he generally approved of Trump's agenda, but would not hesitate to call out the president if needed.
Trump has not always been so positive about Romney: in 2016 he taunted him for "choking like a dog" over the former MA governor's failed presidential bid against Barack Obama in 2012.
The two men put aside their differences enough after Trump's election victory when Romney was considered to be his secretary of state nominee, although Trump ultimately tapped Rex Tillerson for the job.
In a famously scathing speech delivered in the midst of the presidential campaign in March 2016, the former MA governor who ran unsuccessfully against President Obama in 2012 called Trump a "con man" whose promises are "as worthless as a degree from Trump University".
Amid intense conservative opposition to the national law, however, Romney distanced himself during his 2012 campaign from his MA accomplishments, arguing that he had pursued a state solution that wasn't appropriate at the federal level.