Why did Trump really meet with Romney? Dr. Gina Loudon has a pretty good idea:
He wants to silence the “Never Trump” movement entirely so he can act as president without the little dogs nipping at his heels.
Now that Romney has not only met with the president-elect in his home at Trump Tower, but has also dined with Trump at the most exquisite of his restaurants, how can Romney possibly criticize Trump ever again in the future?
Like a child he wanted to punish, President-elect Trump knew that if Romney took the bait and came to these interludes, he would be asked about them afterward. Naturally, desperate to be relevant again through an appointment of some sort, Romney would praise the same Donald Trump he trashed and recruited against for the last year and a half.
Now imagine the position in which Romney finds himself. No matter what happens, if he ever says an unkind thing about President Trump or his family, Romney will look schizophrenic. First he hates him, then he praises him. He can’t go back to disparaging him now that Trump has put him in this position.
This makes sense. For all of his good qualities, Romney has always been a rather unnatural people person. It’s why he sought out Trump’s support when he ran in 2012, and why he was an ineffective advocate for the #NeverTrump movement.
At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team. It would be smart of Trump to make overtures to his critics and place them in positions where their expertise might be valuable, and if Romney’s concerned about the direction of the country under Trump, it would be smart for him to attempt to make inroads. Still, we know the Donald values loyalty over everything else, and Romney’s contribution to efforts to deligitimize Trump’s candidcay might have been a bridge too far. In that context, Gina’s theory makes a ton of sense.