A Trump endorsement: Where imagination and reality meets
February 2nd, 2012
05:17 PM ET
11 years ago

A Trump endorsement: Where imagination and reality meets

Las Vegas (CNN) - Sometimes the previews are better than the movie.

After months of an arm's length relationship between real estate mogul Donald Trump and cautious, no-drama GOP candidate Mitt Romney, "the Donald" went all in for the Republican front-runner in a stunningly sedate press conference Thursday in Las Vegas.

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There was no music and little applause. Romney and Trump shook hands, and the GOP candidate made a quick nod to the surreal pairing.

"There are some things that you just can't imagine in your life," Romney said. "This is one of them."

The pair, accompanied by Ann Romney, took no questions and spoke for less than six minutes all together.

The real drama played out before the grip-and-grin, which Romney and Trump performed dutifully but with little apparent warmth.

Speculation over a Trump endorsement rose to a fever pitch Wednesday evening, when many news organizations incorrectly reported Gingrich would receive the nod.

On Thursday morning CNN broke the news that Trump would back Romney.

In advance of the scheduled joint press conference, Trump strolled the halls of his marble and crystal-bedecked luxury hotel off the Vegas strip. Accompanied by an entourage, the colorful multi-millionaire stopped twice to answer a flurry of questions from national political reporters - many of whom followed the reality TV star from room to room to ask more questions.

Trump told them he would "twiddle his thumbs" while waiting for Romney to arrive.

After giving his endorsement, he was again mobbed by media who strained to hear the tough-talking New Yorker's every utterance.

Trump told reporters he had not been offended that Romney declined to participate in a debate he had been slated to moderate.

"In fact he was very nice," Trump said. "He talked to me about it and I probably could have gotten him to do it if I wanted to."

Asked about how his endorsement would help Romney, Trump said he had "a lot of good relationships with a lot of groups."

"If you look at the tea party. If you look at the Christian coalition. If you look at a lot of different groups, I have very, very strong relationships with them," he said.

He ignored one reporter's question about whether Romney had expressed concerns when Trump questioned the validity of President Obama's birth certificate last year.

Meanwhile, Romney was long gone, having exited out the back of the room following the announcement.

After Trump announced he would not seek the Republican nomination last fall, Romney was one of many GOP hopefuls to make a pilgrimage to Trump's New York office. But the campaign pulled a bait-and-switch with reporters, bringing Romney out through a back door to deny cameras any footage of the meeting.

Also see:

Gingrich hammers Romney over 'poor' comment

Dobson makes surprise appearance at Santorum event

Romney blasts Panetta after Afghanistan announcement

Axelrod: Romney is a 'weak frontrunner'

Romney rebounds in national poll, moves ahead of Gingrich

Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Mitt Romney
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Robert

    What sane individual would give a flying f@@k what "the donald" thinks or who he (the almighty donald" endorses. He's a clown with money that his dad gave him. Snap out of it America

    February 2, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. Steven Colo

    Well, if Newt can't count on the endorsement of a philandering cheat, who can he count on?

    February 2, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    I thought he renounced the republican party a couple of months ago. Another stunt?

    Maybe this is a stunt too.

    February 2, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. The Elephant In The Room

    Trump has tried to pretend he is a Conservative . . . ha ha. First chance he got that Romney was inevitable [post heterogeneous Florida] Donald jumped on the bandwagon.

    Write it down today though. He will be finding a way to kiss Mr. Obama`s _ _ _ on November 10th when the President is re-elected.

    February 2, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. logicnLA

    Thank you Donald. you have confirmed why NOT to vote for Romney. when a reasonably nice millionaire is endorsed by a blowhard millionaire, it tells me Big Money GOP is back in business and america should watch out.
    Mitt claims to be self-made but admits to being raised in a life of comfort. Donald tries to say he's self amde too but some of read his book back in the 80's where he says that daddy gave him 30 millon dollars.
    Neither of these guys has a clue what real America is like. But unfortunately we have all seen what real money can do.

    February 2, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. donna

    Mitt, desperately in need...of some...stranger's hand
    In a...desperate land
    Lost in a Vegas...wilderness of pain
    And all Republicans are insane.
    This is the end. My friend.
    My beautiful friend.
    The end.

    February 2, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    Well, Here's my 2 cents – or the way I see it – "the Donald" Just sealed the deal, for Romney, plain & simple – The newters got so much baggage & bad history, it's pitiful. Plus newter is a "re-tread" It's like : would you rather have a New Tire, or an 'ol re-tread ?? pretty simple, isn't it ?

    Larry IN Houston ( Not From)

    February 2, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. NDblue

    Was it just me, or did it seem like Mrs Romney looked a little uncomfortable with the whole creepy endorsement?

    February 2, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. Whatever

    Oh Mitt you just went down the tubes because the independent voters are gone because of the birther stuff that D.T. loves to bring up all the time... you just sank your ship!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. jlf

    Trump is relgistered as an Independent as of dec 2011 so his endorsement of a GOP candidate is a joke. what is his ulterior motive: promoting his celebrity apprentice show; it can't be vice-president ,can it? then he'd have to change party affiliation again-one flip-lopper to another.

    February 2, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Indy

    The two most out of touch Americans on the planet get hitched, who would have thought that would ever happen besides everybody. This will backfire big on Romney as Trump is one of the most hated people in the world. There go's Miits trying to get any middle class votes, he going to have to count on the rich and the poor now.

    February 2, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. Hair bear

    Maybe Romney can put the Donald on his ticket if he becomes the nominee! I think they look cute together, let's face it there both Rich and don't want there taxes raised! So this doesn't come as a surprise. Next big time Rich endorsers the KocH brothers! Romney is out to protect the rich, heaven forbid if he gets in office!

    February 2, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    Sure it's more the entertainment value of Donald Trump's endorsement that probably matters most.
    But here's what is important and what David Axelrod, Barack Obama and ( presumably ) Joe Biden fear.
    Mitt Romney is on a roll. Republicans are showing that they can band together and support him. He will not be stopped by Newt Gingrich, by Ron Paul or by Barack Obama. He will get the job and he will get the job done. We need him to. Future generations of Americans need him to.

    February 2, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. george of the jungle

    well if mitt doesn't win maybe he can be on the apprentice. What a bunch of clowns.

    February 2, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. John D.

    Two fat cats for wall street why is the occupy donald trumped?

    February 2, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. John D.

    Great day for Obama and the Dems because the Repubs just throw in the towel.

    February 2, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. MissB

    In an era practically deplete of grammar and pristine language, I am still taken by a great articulation. For instance, I adore when a question becomes patently rhetorical.

    “Can the election be bought”?

    Today, following gluttonous consumption of funds by the multimillionaire Mitt Romney, he is endorsed by THE Donald Trump.

    This is the stuff Occupy Wall Street was made of. I am choking on the disgrace of a bought election. This cold stiff elitist, Romney, has out-spent his contemporaries times 8 – 10. And the middle/lower classes are supposed to identify with and/or vote for him?

    This could be the first year I stay home. In the United States we buy and sell the office of the Leader of the “Free” World. He will either be funded and supported by Hollywood or Corporate America. How will a junior high or high school teacher explain this?

    February 2, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  18. cali girl

    A tweet will go out sometime in the next few days. It will be "vote for who has better hair". That is about as impotant as this announcement.

    February 2, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  19. Thomas

    Two draft dodgers , great to see them together again.

    I want to see there birth certificates .

    February 2, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |