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Steve Forbes: Romney Exit Opens Way for Rising GOP Stars

By    |   Monday, 02 February 2015 05:41 PM

Mitt Romney's departure from the 2016 presidential race may have been a bit early — but it helps the Republican Party as a whole, says Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media and former GOP presidential candidate.

"I was surprised at the timing of it, I thought he would be testing the waters a little longer even though the reception to him was pretty rough on him," Forbes said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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That said, the former Massachusetts governor's bow-out spells new opportunities for others, according to Forbes.

"It helps Jeb Bush because the donors will now go to him who might've stayed on the sidelines or split their resources between Gov. Romney and [former Florida] Gov. Bush.

"It gives Governor [Chris] Christie of New Jersey a new opening. He's been scrambling to get things ready for a run."

But Romney's exit — some speculate he pulled out because donors were leaving — underscores that people may want a "fresh face," according to Forbes.

"One of them for example is Governor [Scott] Walker of Wisconsin. Everyone is keenly interested to learn more about him," he said.

Also in the mix, Forbes said, are Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.

"It'll be good. A lot of candidates won't take the full plunge because you have to put together resources. You have to put together ground game and you have to have a very bold and Reaganesque message," Forbes told Steve Malzberg.

"We're going to see what events unfold. The foreign situation is not good, so that's going to have an enormous impact on what people are going to be looking for in a candidate.

"We have to remember, Ronald Reagan, one of the greatest presidents in American history — the events of the late 1970s' enabled him to win even though he was perceived by the popular media in the day as out of touch, old, blah, blah, blah."

Forbes also said former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic candidate, isn't going to have an easy time dealing with her ties to the Obama administration.

"As much as she wants not to be part of the old regime, she served it for four years," Forbes said.

"Obviously, even though she's hinted she may not have liked everything the current president did and she didn't exactly step out and say, this is wrong and I'm going to make a break with you.

"If [Massachusetts Sen.] Elizabeth Warren runs, that's going to be a real challenge for Hillary Clinton."

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Mitt Romney's departure from the 2016 presidential race may have been a bit early — but it helps the Republican Party as a whole, says Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media and former GOP presidential candidate.
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Monday, 02 February 2015 05:41 PM
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