Two-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday, "I'm not running," when asked about his prospects for making a third bid for the White House in 2016.
Romney said he thought the best chance Republicans had to win the next presidential race would be "with someone who has not run twice before, as I have."
"I'm not running for president in 2016. I'm going to be supporting someone who represents the practical conservatives that I think we need," the former Massachusetts governor said.
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As for the GOP candidates Romney could see running in 2016, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, his vice presidential running mate in 2012, was at the top of his list. Romney said other worthy candidates would include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough later in Friday's show said he was skeptical about Romney's comments that he wasn't running in 2016. The host said that wasn't what he had heard in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and "across America."
"There are people that believe Mitt Romney is going to run in 2016. I would have to say, one of the top Republican strategists over the past 20 years told me yesterday he thinks Romney's in," Scarborough said Friday.
John Heilemann, who is joining Bloomberg as a political writer and television host, said Friday he thought Romney's wife, Ann, didn't have "the stomach for it," and that he wasn't sure if Romney even wanted to run a third time. There were, however, others he said would like to see Romney get in the race.
"I don't particularly think [Romney is] interested. There's no doubt that there's a group of people who worked for Mitt Romney, and were big supporters of Mitt Romney, who are talking about it and talking it up in a lot of places," Heilemann said.
Chuck Todd, host of MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown," said he didn't believe Romney had "the family support to do this again." He said Romney might work behind the scenes in the upcoming presidential race.
"I have a feeling that Romney is going to be this shadow, sort of the way [former Vice President Al] Gore and [former Secretary of State] Hillary [Clinton] hovered over the '04 field a little bit for a little while. Romney may hover over that field for a while," Todd told the "Morning Joe" panel Friday.
David Gregory, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," said the biggest thing working against Romney was that "he's proven to be flawed, fatally so as a candidate — not once, but twice."
Barring any other strong candidate entering the race in 2016, Scarborough maintained it was a possibility Romney would run again.
"If Jeb Bush isn't in the race, and Chris Christie isn't in the race, I'm hearing people talk about the fact that Romney may be a lot closer to this than some people think," Scarborough said.
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