— CNN (@CNN) November 27, 2016
Trump Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway hit the Sunday talk show circuit running, and three of the standout moments feature her taking a very public stance against Mitt Romney. The former Republican nominee recently visited Trump Tower, which surprised everyone since Romney took great pride in bashing “fraud” Trump throughout the election. The assumption is that Romney’s under consideration for secretary of state, and Conway didn’t dispute this during a visit with Dana Bash on CNN’s State of the Union.
Conway proceeded to bash Romney in what might have been a counseling session aimed towards Trump: “What Donald Trump decides, Kellyanne Conway and everyone else will respect.” She continued, “It’s just the backlash from the grassroots.” Conway told the story of voters who scraped together a few hundred bucks for Trump’s campaign and would “feel betrayed” by a Romney selection: “I thought we got rid of … this type.”
She then pulled out a huge zinger: “We don’t even know if Mitt Romney voted for Donald Trump.” She’s got a point, given that independent candidate Evan McMullin made an impact in Utah, and while he never secured a formal Romney endorsement, he reportedly purchased Romney’s mailing list for fundraising purposes. But what is Conway’s goal here? Is she attempting to sway an on-the-edge Trump against Romney, or was he never really under consideration in the first place?
Anti-Trump Republican strategist Ana Navarro found Conway’s public approach to bashing Trump “astounding.”
Conway responded, “I did tell him privately” and stressed how the “intensity of grassroots resistance to Romney is breathtaking.”
Conway also popped over to ABC’s This Week, where she told Martha Raddatz that Romney did nothing but bash Trump’s character throughout his campaign: “There was the ‘Never Trump’ movement and then there was Governor Mitt Romney. He went out of his way to hurt Donald Trump.” She wonders whether Romney would possibly be loyal at this point. In this clip, Conway praises Trump’s attempts at party unity in appointing rival Nikki Haley as UN ambassador and speaking with Ted Cruz. However, she sees Romney as a step too far: “I don’t think a cost of admission for party unity has to be the secretary of state position.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 27, 2016
Aaand Conway continued on Meet the Press, where she denied actively campaigning against Romney: “I’m just a concerned citizen.” She then marvelled “at the volume and intensity of blow back” over Romney that she observes as an adviser to Trump. Sources have suggested that Trump wants Romney to grovel with a public apology before an announcement happens. Are Conway’s appearances geared towards humiliating Romney, or is she simply trying to communicate with Trump?