Romney's Recent Moves Fuel Speculation About 2016 Run

Image: Romney's Recent Moves Fuel Speculation About 2016 Run

Saturday, 05 Apr 2014 06:10 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Is Mitt Romney running for president in 2016?

He has said no — even just weeks ago to Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation" on CBS News.

And, of course, he declared what becomes of nominees who lose their presidential bids in his "Mitt" Netflix documentary: "They become a loser. It’s over."

But Fox New points out a number of circumstances that could point to a campaign brewing:

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  • Last month, the former Massachusetts governor brought together members of his 2012 campaign staff at a reunion he hosted in Park City, Utah.
  • He has appeared on television news shows 12 times in the past six months, attacking President Barack Obama on issues ranging from the economy to Russia's annexation of Crimea on the Ukrainian peninsula.
  • Romney hit on those same themes in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Caucus at National Harbor in Maryland. He won the conference's straw poll in 2012.
  • He has been stumping for other candidates in races across the country, including for Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst in her GOP primary bid to fill that state's open U.S. Senate seat, and for three Republicans in Idaho — Gov. Butch Otter, Rep. Mike Sampson, who face tea party challengers, and Sen. Jim Risch, who also is in a primary battle.
  • Romney's favorability ratings have climbed since he lost to Obama in November 2012, including a 47 percent score on Feb. 24 in a Gallup survey.
  • Top Romney 2012 advisers Kevin Madden, Eric Fehrnstrom, and Stuart Stevens have not responded to queries by Fox on the former GOP candidate's plans.

While none of the 2016 presidential hopefuls has announced their intentions — including likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who no longer flatly rules out a bid — there's always a possibility, analysts tell Fox.

"He very well could [run again], but it doesn’t seem likely," said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean. "You’ll likely find that he’ll be most effective using his political and business savvy on the outside, rather than the inside."

Romney could also end up with a cabinet post if another Republican takes the White House in 2016, Bonjean said. "He’d be a prime candidate for Treasury secretary."

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