After months of insisting he was not interested in running for President again, the 2012 Republican nominee now says he’s “keeping the doors open” for another run.
America can only hope!
A presidential defeat isn’t an easy thing to bounce back from. And Mitt Romney did it twice. So it was understandable that after he lost the presidential race in 2012, he was adamant about closing the door to the possibility of a third campaign.
But recently, speculation is whirling that Romney may not be so adamant anymore.
When asked if he was running in a New York Times interview published earlier this week, Romney said : “I have nothing to add to the story. We’ve got a lot of people looking at the race,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
That response, which set off the firestorm of speculation about a possible candidacy, is vastly different from the one he issued just nine months ago: “Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no,” he told The New York Times last January at the premiere of “Mitt,” the documentary about his 2012 candidacy. “People are always gracious and say, ‘Oh, you should run again.’ I’m not running again.”
The discrepancy between the two responses has been fueled by Romney’s recent presence on the political scene. As midterm campaigns enter the home stretch, his star power seems akin to Hillary Clinton’s for the Democrats. He has stumped for candidates on the campaign trail and sent personal emails requesting fundraising for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Tomorrow, he is holding an event for the press in Kentucky with Senator Mitch McConnell.
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Daniel Scarpinato, the group’s national press secretary, previously told ABC News that Romney has an ability to rake in a higher level of contributions for the Republican Party because “a lot of Americans want to see him as president.”
Policy-wise, he has been more vocal about publicizing his opposition to the Obama administration, lambasting the president’s foreign policy on Fox News and penning an op-ed opposing cuts to the military in the Washington Post.
All of this seems like groundwork for a presidential run. But several people, including his former running mate Paul Ryan, have affirmed that Romney has no interest in running again. In an interview yesterday with HuffPost Live, Ryan said that, if Romney has reiterated multiple times he isn’t running, then he isn’t running. (Ryan did note, however, that if Romney were to run, he would not run against him.)
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So in short, no one has any idea if Romney is running. If his most recent response is true, he doesn’t know either. But the fact that he didn’t rule out running means that we don’t have to rule him out.
And if he does run, his experience and star power could make him a frontrunner. As he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in 2013 about his 2012 campaign: “I did better this time than I did the time before.”
Perhaps the third time will be the charm after all, for America simply can’t endure 4 years like the last 8, and Mitt is surely the most capable of restoring confidence and righting the wrongs that have been perpetrated under the guise of “Change.”