Publicly, former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has insisted he’s not going to seek the White Office in 2016. But privately he may be leaving the door open, according to multiple reports.
The Washington Post reports
that Romney is having a private dinner Thursday night with political advisers to his 2012 campaign. The dinner meeting will take place following a lecture Romney will deliver at Stanford University on presidential politics.
Those reportedly attending are Romney 2012 campaign counselors Ben Ginsberg and Katie Biber Chen, Andrea Saul, who was Romney’s national press secretary, and Lanhee Chen, his policy director.
“Talking to lots of people close to him, I know the idea is still alive and certainly there are many of us who think he’d be an outstanding president,” former Minnesota Rep. Vin Weber, a Republican who was a Romney adviser, told the Post Wednesday. “But they will make a mistake if they think that his status allows him to wait for a long period of time. What Bush understands is that the advantage of having so-called front-runner status is that a lot of people will sign up early on.”
Last month, Business Insider reported
that Romney met with “key financial backers” in New York “to lay the groundwork for a 2016 White House bid.”
One unnamed source told the publication that he left “convinced (Romney) is running for president again in 2016.”
And Politico reported
in December that more than a dozen people who had spoken to Romney in the prior month said Romney had sounded “at least open to the idea in recent conversations.”
According to the Post, those closest to Romney privately acknowledge that he is considering a run, but say that he wants to see what the GOP field looks like before making a decision.
Former Romney adviser Ron Kaufman told the Post that Romney has no plans to run, that he just “enjoys staying in touch with his former aides.”
“He’s been consistent from Day One to make sure Republicans win in 2016,” Kaufman said. “He is going to whatever he can to help and hopes someone out there catches fire. He’ll be out there the whole time helping.”
A December McClatchy-Marist poll
showed Romney leading a potential Republican pool, drawing the support of 19 percent of Republican voters. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was next, with 14 percent, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Mike Huckabee, both with 9 percent, and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson with 8 percent.
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