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Mitt Romney won't be secretary of state. Here's how experts reacted

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney arrives to talk with reporters after eating dinner with President-elect Donald Trump at Jean-Georges restaurant, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney arrives to talk with reporters after eating dinner with President-elect Donald Trump at Jean-Georges restaurant, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci, AP

Utahns need not hold their breath any longer. Mitt Romney will not be the country’s secretary of state.

President-elect Donald Trump announced via Twitter on Tuesday morning that he nominated Rex Tillerson, the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, to the position. Tillerson had been pegged as the potential pick over the weekend.

Trump touted Tillerson’s ability to make deals with foreign leaders as a reason why he should hold the foreign policy position.

Tillerson has previously made deals with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the New York Times.

The decision ends the month-long speculation about who the president-elect would pick for the position. Mitt Romney — the 2012 Republican Party presidential nominee who made a name for himself overseas for taking over the embattled 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City — had been pegged for the job.

Romney — despite his words against Trump during the 2016 election, calling him a “fraud” and a “phony” — went out to dinner with the president-elect to discuss the job, and held meetings with him. The ongoing deliberations also inspired a Romney meme.

Experts said Romney would be a strong pick for the position, given that he and Trump had differing views on foreign policy that would complement each other, according to the Deseret News.

"With Romney, he would be taking a more inclusive, conciliatory approach that befits his lack of any mandate, tries to move the country past such a divisive campaign and reassures jittery allies," Frank Bruni wrote for the New York Times. "It would be an open-minded, big-hearted, self-aware move that challenges Americans to see him in a more nuanced light. It would help him govern, by signaling that he’s bigger than his grievances."

But on Monday, Trump called Romney to tell him he wouldn’t receive the position, according to multiple sources.

When news broke Monday that he wouldn’t receive the position, Romney said “it was an honor to have been considered.”

Political pundits and media members expressed their thoughts on the former Massachusetts governor and why he would have made a good pick.

Of course, tweeters said Trump tried to humiliate Romney by leading him on for the position as payback for Romney’s previous comments.

Still, Romney emerged with his head held high, experts said.