Mitt Romney has reportedly not ruled out another presidential run.
According to Byron York at the Washington Examiner, “Romney is talking with advisers, consulting with his family, keeping a close eye on the emerging ’16 Republican field, and carefully weighing the pluses and minuses of another run.” In addition, “a significant number of Romney’s top financial supporters from 2012 have decided not to commit to any other 2016 candidate until they hear a definitive word from Romney.”
York writes, “that doesn’t mean he will decide to do it, but it does mean that Mitt 2016 is a real possibility.” And someone within Romney’s inner circle said the odds of Romney running again are “definitely more than zero.”
Romney, though, has insisted in interviews that he is not going to run.
After being repeatedly prodded by radio host Hugh Hewitt, a Romney fan who has written a book about him, about whether “circumstances can change,” Romney finally gave in and said that “circumstances can change” if every GOP contender decided not to run and asked him to do so. Romney said on Fox News, as York notes, that his time has “come and gone,” and “now it’s time for someone else to pick up the baton.” And in another Fox News interview with Megyn Kelly, Romney said he already had his chance and implied it was Paul Ryan’s turn to run for president.
According to York, Romney believes that Jeb Bush is the only other person besides himself who can beat Hillary Clinton. And, as Ann Romney recently noted in a Fox News interview this week, Romney and Bush would have the same set of donors and voters that would overlap. But Romney loyalists are not giving up hope.
One Republican operative told York that “all his people want him to run again because they made so much money off it the last time.” As Breitbart News’ Michael Patrick Leahy has extensively documented, consultants received millions even though they grossly underperformed. The Romney campaign paid $33 million to entities associated with the campaign for digital strategy that failed on election night. In addition, FLS Connect, LLC and Targeted Victory, LLC, groups with ties to Romney staffers and the Republican National Committee, “were paid $150 million during the 2011-2012 election cycle by the three committees that funded the unsuccessful Romney Presidential campaign,” as Leahy reported.
As Breitbart News has editorialized, “Republicans need blue-collar Reagan Democrats and more minorities to win presidential elections” and “Romney – and his loyalists – disastrously proved in 2012 that he can attract neither, and there is no indication Romney would be able to do so in 2016.” Those comparing Romney to Richard Nixon also forget that “Nixon appealed to cloth-coat conservatives, while Romney, as his father did, represents to many the mink-coat, Rockefeller wing of the GOP which conservatives have been battling since the 1950s.” In the last presidential election, Romney made Obama, “one of the most elitist and crony capitalist presidents in recent memory, seem like a common man who cared about average Americans when compared to him.”