Former Massachusetts Governor and failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney is not yet ready to relinquish his title as the head of the pale-pastels establishment wing of the Republican Party to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
“A senior Republican who has met with Mitt Romney” tells Politico that Romney is telling donors on Wall Street “not to commit to a candidate that is not their first choice and that they aren’t excited about. He does not think much of the current field and does not think it is jelling. He still views himself as the leader of the establishment wing of the Republican Party.”
Romney also reportedly “does not feel he owes the Bushes anything and does not think Jeb is the defacto leader of the establishment GOP.”
“It’s definitely a change in his message [tilted more toward running],” the Republican said.
Romney, who leads the potential 2016 field in a CNN poll and has led in New Hampshire polls, has indicated that he would not run again unless most of the candidates urged him to do so. Romney’s wife has also suggested that since Romney and Bush are supported by the same cast of characters, it would be tough for both of them to run.
Meanwhile, Jeb Bush is reportedly telling top operatives in Romney’s home turf of New Hampshire to keep their powder dry in case he jumps into the race, according to a RealClearPolitics report. Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, another potential 2016 candidate, may also want the vie for the crown of the GOP’s moderate wing that loses general elections by turning off the conservative base.