Romney 2016 hopes are out the window after the former GOP presidential nominee announced that he was not planning a third run at the White House.
Many Republicans had been courting Mitt Romney about another run, seeing him as the best chance to beat presumable nominee Hillary Clinton in two years.
But Romney denied having 2016 aspirations on a trip to NBC’s Meet the Press.
“I’m not running for president,” Romney said. “I’ve said that so many times.”
Though Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama in 2012, many believed he had the experience and fundraising infrastructure to take on Clinton in 2016.
Insiders believed that Romney has been gearing up for another run at the White House. In recent years he has been working behind the scenes to use his vast fundraising network to support Republican candidates, and in doing so became something of a kingmaker.
“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.”
But at the same time, Mitt made hints that a Romney 2016 run was unlikely. In a documentary about his campaign, Mitt noted that he will always carry the stigma of being a “loser.”
“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 movie Mitt. “They become a loser for life, all right? That’s it. It’s over.”
If there is a Romney 2016 run at the White House, Mitt’s denial this week may not mean much. It is common practice for candidates to deny that they’re thinking about a run for the presidency, at least until the time they’re ready to officially declare.