Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, “I’m with Ann Romney on this one: No, no, no, no, never,” referring to another possible 2016 presidential bid by Mitt Romney. Paul spoke at a candidate forum with two other potential 2016 contenders in Palm Springs on Sunday night.
Romney “would have made a great president,” added Paul, rumored to be eying a 2016 run. “But to win the presidency you have to reach out and appeal to new constituencies. And I just don’t think it’s possible.”
“And if he thinks, ‘Well, I’m just going to change a few themes and next time I’ll reach out to more people,’ I think it’s a little more visceral than that,” the libertarian lawmaker said of Romney.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also made remarks about Romney. “I think in 2012, the reason Republicans lost can be sum up it in two words: 47 percent,” Cruz said, referring to Romney’s remarks that were caught on tape at a private fundraiser. Romney was heard telling attendees not to “worry about” the 47 percent of people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”
“I don’t just mean that comment. The central narrative of the last election, what the voters heard, was, ‘We don’t have to worry about the 47 percent.’ And I think Republicans are and should be the party of the 47 percent. We should be fighting for the little guy who has dreams and hopes and desires.”
Marco Rubio refused to join in on the Romney critique, saying: “I think he put it all into the race,” Rubio said. “He’s someone who’s earned the right to decide whatever it is he wants to do.”