Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is one of two Republicans under consideration by the Joe Biden transition team for appointment as Secretary of State.
Politico reports that Romney is on a list of 10 names under consideration by Biden to head up the U.S. Department of State. Romney was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in 2012, and his running mate, former Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), debated Biden during the vice presidential debate that year.
Since then, however, Romney and Biden have developed a friendship. Biden was a headline speaker at Romney’s annual Park City retreat in 2017. During his address, Biden hailed Romney as a “man of integrity” and urged him to run for U.S. Senate in 2018, which Romney ultimately did.
Romney later described Biden as an “honorable man” during the impeachment process last year, during which Romney was the sole Republican in Congress to vote to impeach the President.
Rumors of Romney receiving the post of Secretary of State first arose in September, following his mention in a speculative report by lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which is known to have close ties to Biden and the Democrats.
Despite the friendly relationship between the two men, however, earlier this month, Biden did not appear to even remember Romney’s name.
“You may remember, I got in trouble when we were running against the senator, who was a Mormon, he was a governor, OK?” Biden said, referring to an occasion in 2011 when he defended Romney. “And I took him on, and nobody’s faith should be questioned.”
Other major contenders named by Politico include Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. Besides Romney, the only other Republican on the list is Bush-era Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns.
Biden is also said to be considering anti-Trump Republicans for other senior roles within his administration, including former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and former Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), all of whom have endorsed Biden’s candidacy. Furthermore, Cindy McCain, the wife of former Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), is part of the Biden transition team, and thus has significant control over administraiton staffing.