Romney is strong contender for U.S. secretary of state


Associated Press

BEDMINSTER, N.J.

Mitt Romney is a key contender to become the nation's next secretary of state and retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was an "impressive" prospect for defense secretary, President-elect Donald Trump and his No. 2, Mike Pence, said Sunday.

"Gov. Romney is under active and serious consideration to serve as secretary of state of the United States," said Pence, the vice president-elect who is leading the search for Trump's cabinet members, in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation."

The comments were indications that Trump is looking outside his immediate circle as he works toward rounding out his foreign policy and national security teams. On Friday, he named a loyalist, ret. Gen. Michael Flynn, as his national security adviser.

Trump met with Mattis a few hours after Romney. On Sunday, the billionaire interrupted his tweeted criticisms of "Saturday Night Live," the hit musical "Hamilton," and Democrats to write that, "General James 'Mad Dog' Mattis, who is being considered for secretary of defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General's General!"

The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential contender and Trump exchanged bitter insults during the campaign, and Mattis has not been considered a Trump confidante. The appointment of more establishment figures could offer some reassurance to lawmakers and others concerned about Trump's hard-line positions on immigration and national security and his lack of foreign policy experience.

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