WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney did not vote for Donald J. Trump in 2016. Representative Martha McSally of Arizona may not have, either, but she will not say. And Senator Dean Heller of Nevada now insists that he did cast his ballot for Mr. Trump, but for many months, he would not reveal his vote.
Senator Bob Corker supported Mr. Trump, but seemed to regret it last year when he concluded that the country had deposited an unruly toddler in the Oval Office.
Yet as these Republicans pursue a Senate run this year — or in the case of Mr. Corker, reconsiders one — they are essentially making peace with a president they once shunned. Their hopes for a détente with Mr. Trump, who effectively staged a hostile takeover of a party he joined only in 2012, reflect the realization that rank-and-file Republicans have come to embrace the president.
There is little appetite on the right for Trump skeptics in the halls of Congress.
“To the activists, those who vote consistently in Republican primaries, it’s very much Trump’s party,” said Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, who effectively decided against running for re-election because he did not want to accommodate such voters.
The reversals by Mr. Trump’s onetime foes are as revealing as they are glaring.
Mr. Corker, who once suggested that the president required day care and that he might blunder the country into World War III, has mounted a charm offensive to win back the president’s affection — a prerequisite if the senator is to delay his retirement plans and capture the Republican nomination in Tennessee. Mr. Romney, who in 2016 excoriated Mr. Trump as an amoral con man, graciously accepted the president’s Twitter-born endorsement on Monday night. Their change of heart has triggered no small amount of eye-rolling.
Yet while both men have been accused of acting out of expedience by the left and among the thinning ranks of anti-Trump Republicans, what is striking is how easy a president often consumed with slights has made it for his former critics to bind up old wounds.
The man who once ridiculed Mr. Corker as “Liddle,” taunted Mr. Romney as “a choke artist” and used an open-to-the-press White House meeting to issue a barbed warning to Mr. Heller about supporting health care repeal or risk losing his seat is playing nicely with the party establishment.
With Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and a pugilist who had visions of remaking the Republican Party, excommunicated from Mr. Trump’s orbit, the president is surrounded now by more establishment-friendly advisers. And as congressional Republicans largely mute their criticism of the White House, the president is showing scant interest in unseating incumbent lawmakers or trying to even scores with those like Mr. Romney who are now willing to offer an open hand rather than a clenched fist.
When he was told late last week that Mr. Romney was in the Utah Senate race and was a lock to win, Mr. Trump instructed his aides to get him on the phone immediately, according to a Republican official familiar with the exchange. (The two were unable to quickly connect.)
The president was chastened by his experience with the Alabama Senate race last year, when he insisted on supporting Roy S. Moore even after Mr. Moore was credibly accused of making sexual advances on minors.
Last week, Mr. Trump even held up the Moore debacle as a cautionary tale in a conversation with Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi. The president is hoping Mr. Bryant will appoint himself to succeed Senator Thad Cochran if the ailing senator resigns. Keeping the seat also happens to be a top priority for Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, who only a few months ago was not on speaking terms with Mr. Trump.
This is all to say that, for the moment at least, the president is returning the favor to those mainstream Republicans who are willing to abide him.
“Donald Trump is the ultimate deal-maker, and he will do what he thinks is best for the American people, no matter what happened with somebody in the past,” said Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s onetime campaign manager, pointing to the former Trump critics in the cabinet.
Those hoping to survive Republican primaries need only to skim the polls to understand that it is unwise to make an enemy of Mr. Trump. But what has made it easier for the Trump skeptics to come around is that the president has governed more like a conventional Republican than the populist he campaigned as in 2016.
“Nafta is alive and the alliance with Russia is dead,” said Luke Thompson, a Republican strategist. “Trump surrendered to the Republican Congress on policy.”
And many of those Republican voters uneasy with the president’s coarse language have noticed.
“The base is making their judgments on what has been accomplished as opposed to what is being said,” said Chris LaCivita, a longtime Republican consultant.
So the likes of Mr. Heller and Ms. McSally, who is running for Mr. Flake’s seat, have determined they have little choice but to embrace Mr. Trump to survive their primaries. Ms. McSally is facing a pair of hard-line opponents, including the former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Mr. Heller is being challenged from the right by Danny Tarkanian, a conservative businessman and a son of a legendary basketball coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Mr. Trump has stayed out of both primaries despite his relationship with Mr. Arpaio, whom he pardoned, and the importuning of a former Arizona state senator, Kelli Ward, and Mr. Tarkanian.
Ms. Ward went to Mar-a-Lago, the president’s resort in Florida, over the holidays in hopes of swaying Mr. Trump. Mr. Tarkanian announced his candidacy on “Fox & Friends” last summer in the predawn darkness of Las Vegas in hopes of catching the president’s attention.
Still, Mr. Heller and Ms. McSally may have created risks for themselves in the general election by welcoming the support of a president who polls show is not broadly liked in Nevada or Arizona.
“If he stays where he is, it’s a liability,” Mr. Flake said.
Mr. Romney faces no such general-election risks in Utah, where he is seen as the beau ideal of the Mormon Church, and which has not elected a Democratic senator since 1970.
But by tempering his criticism of Mr. Trump, Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential standard-bearer, has all but eliminated whatever nuisance challenge he might have faced from his right flank. By posting Monday on Twitter that Mr. Romney “will make a great Senator,” Mr. Trump snuffed out any attempt to halt the political revival of the man who was perhaps his most prominent Republican critic in 2016.
“The only place where Mitt was even slightly vulnerable was with a pro-Trump challenger, and this takes that off the table,” said Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah.
As for Mr. Corker, who would face the conservative Representative Marsha Blackburn in a primary race, he has yet to sway Mr. Trump.
But the president’s aides, who are more apt to hold grudges, are all too aware of Mr. Trump’s weakness for flattery and are doing their best to keep him from blessing Mr. Corker. It was no accident, one West Wing official noted, that they placed Ms. Blackburn near the president’s side last Friday for a bill signing that otherwise drew little attention.
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