After a three-week flirtation with a new campaign for the White House, Mitt Romney announced Friday that he will not seek the presidency in 2016.
“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney told supporters on a conference call.
The exit of Romney, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, comes after several of his former major donors and a veteran staffer in the early voting state of Iowa defected to support former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would have served as Romney’s most likely rivals for the support of the Republican Party’s establishment-minded voters.
A good man, but like John McCain before him, someone who was not prepared to close the sale and do whatever it took to win in the final weeks of his campaign. As the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell told me in an interview that was one of many postmortems on Romney’s campaign, Romney was the only candidate he had ever seen who went into prevent defense mode in the final weeks of his campaign, even though he wasn’t winning.
And certainly, the Jonathan Gruber connection wouldn’t have helped him in 2016 if he was competing with Hillary Clinton, the mother of Obamacare.