Mitt Romney may have lost in several bids to become president, but the former Massachusetts governor is now re-emerging in a political second act with hopes of helping the GOP topple Democrats and re-take the Senate — and possibly making yet another run at the presidency.
Since his loss to Barack Obama in 2012, Romney has been working behind the scenes to support some of the Republican Party’s rising stars, using the vast fundraising system he set up through a string of presidential bids. By doing so Romney has not only kept this fundraising machine well-oiled, but also raised up his own statue within the party.
“I don’t think he’s ever been more popular than he is today,” said Spencer Zwick, one of the leaders of Romney’s fundraising campaign.
This year Romney has already endorsed 29 candidates for statewide offices or Congress. He also had a perfect track record in the 12 Republican candidates he endorsed in primary elections.
“Our party in recent years unfortunately has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by nominating poor candidates,” said former Romney aide Ryan Williams. “Gov. Romney has stepped up and helped good, electable conservatives win.”
Mitt Romney himself hasn’t given any hints if he could run for the presidency in 2016, and if he were to run it would be against some formidable competition. The likely group seeking the GOP nomination includes established Republicans like Jeb Bush and up-and-comes like Senator Marco Rubio and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Romney would also have to smash the stigma of presidential losses, including a failed 2012 campaign against a weakened Barack Obama that many GOP experts expected him to win.
Romney himself has even spoken about the difficulties in overcoming the “loser” label that comes with his record.
“I have looked, by the way, at what happens to anybody in this country who loses as the nominee of their party,” Romney says in an interview for the documentary movie Mitt. “They become a loser for life, all right? That’s it. It’s over.”
But Romney’s moves could hint toward a presidential run. Aside from his fundraising efforts, Romney has become increasingly vocal on foreign affairs, setting what could be a platform for a 2016 run.
This week he criticized President Obama’s handling of the Iraq War, saying that the increasing violence in the country could put the United States’ efforts over the last decade to waste.
“Tragically, all we’ve fought for in Iraq, all that 4,500 American lives were shed to gain, is on the cusp, potentially, of vanishing,” Romney said.
Mitt Romney would still face trouble in a 2016 presidential run, even if he were to win the Republican primary. Likely Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton has consistently crushed opponents in early polling.