Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Tuesday said his wife wants him to run for president in 2012, even though he has not yet decided whether to seek the GOP nomination, and does not know if he has the team in place to beat President Obama.
“I don't have an answer for you yet, because there are a lot of things you have to consider before you make that final decision,” he told CNN’s Pier Morgan. “Clearly, I'm doing the things, like other folks are doing, to keep the option open, and moving forward in the event that I make a positive decision. But there are matters of health, of support, of the kind of network you'd like to have of individuals.
“My wife thinks I should run. She's absolutely committed. She's saying, ‘you've got to run, you've got to have somebody who understands the world of the economy, small business, who can create jobs,’” Romney said. “She's convinced I've got to run. But I have to look more broadly and say, ‘all right, do I have the team necessary to do this?’”
Asked if the specter of a former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin run would have an impact on his decision, and whether he could beat her for the GOP nomination, Romney said he couldn’t answer, as he was not a political analyst or pollster.
“I believe she's an extraordinarily powerful and effective voice in our party, that she has generated a great deal of support and attention, that she'd be great in a primary process,” Romney said. “She'd bring attention to the process. And frankly, the more people we have on the stage in those debates, talking about different ideas and different approaches, the better.”
Morgan asked Romney whether his wife knows if he could beat Palin and any other GOP nomination contender.
“She probably does,” Romney said. “I'm not sure she knows whether I can win or lose. But I know that she thinks that someone of my experience is needed in the country at a time like this.”
Turning to Romney’s Mormon faith, Morgan asked whether he still believed, as he indicated when seeking the GOP nomination in 2008, that some might think it might sink his candidacy.
“I can't judge the politics. I don't know the answer to that,” he said. “My experience … in Massachusetts, running as a Mormon guy in a state that's overwhelmingly of other faiths, [it] didn't seem to get in my way there.
“But most people in this country recognize that, in fact, the nation itself was founded on the principle of religious tolerance and freedom,” Romney added. “We respect other people's beliefs. And I think in a lot of cases respect people who honor their faith and try to be true to them.”
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