Mitt Romney in January ruled out
a third White House attempt, but his unhappiness at the front-runner status of Donald Trump has his supporters aching for him to change his mind.
And Romney himself is one of Trump's "most vocal detractors inside the party," Gabriel Sherman writes at New York magazine.
Romney is "someone to whom civility means a lot. The whole Trump thing really bothers him," Sherman quoted a close Romney adviser.
Trump's rise to the top has definitely not come as the result of civility. He has taunted other candidates who are below him in the polls and criticized Fox News in general and its debate moderators in particular after he felt the questions asked him were unfair. He's even held out the possibility of running third party if he doesn't get the GOP nomination – not to mention him saying Sen. John McCain isn't a war hero or reading out Sen. Lindsey Graham's cellphone number in public.
But the likelihood of Romney joining the race at this point isn't high, Sherman writes. More likely, he would seek to influence the party as its elder statesman. He also has a huge donor network that any candidate would be happy to get access to.
But a Romney endorsement in the primary season probably isn't in the cards, as it would only anger the anti-Establishment base, Sherman says.
"He's more valuable in a general," one Romney backer told him.
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