NEW YORK – Mitt Romney will become the latest Republican presidential contender to pay court to Donald Trump when the celebrity businessman hosts the former Massachusetts governor at him Trump Towers headquarters here on Sept 26.
The meeting was arranged several weeks ago, according to Trump Organization's Executive Vice President Michael Cohen, who said that Romney was one of the last candidates to reach out for a meeting with Trump. The two have never met, Cohen added.
This is in contrast to Romney’s chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Cohen says that Perry has spoken five or six times and set up the meeting he recently held with Trump about two months ago. Perry and Trump huddled Wednesday at Trump Towers before heading out to dine at Jean-Georges, a swanky restaurant over looking Central Park.
Michele Bachmann has also already met with Trump this campaign season, as have Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. Huckabee flirted with running but took himself out of the race. Palin is still weighing whether to make a run.
Earlier this week, Cohen told CBS and National Journal that while Trump is reviewing his endorsement options in the presidential campaigns, "he's still not out of" the race himself. "After The Apprentice is over in June," Cohen said, referring to the popular TV show in which Trump interviews job candidates, "if he's still not happy with the choices, we are all ready to launch a campaign for him as a third-party candidate, as an independent."
Trump also recently weighed in on a congressional race in New York, endorsing Republican Bob Turner in the late stages of his hotly contested election for House seat vacated by disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner. Trump made robocalls on Turner’s behalf. “This is Donald Trump, and I'm not calling to fire you, as we say on The Apprentice. I'm calling to fire you up!" he said on the recordings. Turner won the heavily Democratic district Tuesday by a margin of 54% to 46% in the Queens-Brooklyn district – a result that many Republicans, including Romney, interpreted as a repudiation of President Obama’s policies on the economy and Israel.