With two failed runs at the presidency under his belt, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Mitt Romney is all done with his quest for the highest office in the land. You’d be mistaken, though, as Romney recently said that he would “love” to run for president and hinted that the door isn’t completely closed on a Mittens 2016 campaign.
“I know this is hard for a lot of people to recognize,” Romney said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt, “but frankly, I’d love to run for president. I loved running for president.”
Before dreamers started printing up Romney/Ryan Redux Placards, though, Mitt quickly added some reality to the mix.
“I love the country enough to know that I’m not as good a candidate this time around as I think the other guys would be, because they’re new and not defined.”
By “not defined,” Romney probably means “haven’t missed the mark twice in two separate campaigns.” Romney first fell short in 2008 in the Republican Presidential Primaries, losing the long game to nominee John McCain, who went on to lose to Democratic nominee Barack Obama. In 2012, Romney ran again with a more focused campaign, easily winning the Republican nod but losing the general election to an even more focused Obama reelection team.
Since losing in 2012, Romney has apparently tried to ease his way into the role of kingmaker, campaigning for state and national politicians across the country. All the while, Romney has had only good things to say about the current crop of candidates, and nothing but denials when asked if he’s considering another run at the top seat.
Still, the field of Republican presidential hopefuls isn’t as thick as the party’s base might want it to be.
- Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, is seen by many as too wonkish to connect with the general electorate, even if his economic policies are a Republican wish list.
- Senator Marco Rubio could give the base a much-needed boost among Latino voters, but he has come under fire for flip-flopping on immigration reform. Rubio first voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 and then distanced himself from the issue when conservative activists took him to task for that vote.
- Texas Governor Rick Perry seems like he should be the next in line, but his poor debate performances in 2012 make some wary of putting him on the national stage. Perry is also under indictment on felony corruption charges.
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been touted as someone who could go toe-to-toe with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but Christie’s abrasive style gives some observers pause. There are also questions over whether Christie abuses his power as governor, an issue that would certainly surface in the campaign.
- Senator Rand Paul espouses libertarian values that pique the interest of many a core Republican voter, but there are questions as to how palatable the general electorate would find his economic, domestic, and foreign policy ideals.
- Some observers also float the notion of Dr. Ben Carson, who isn’t running for president but does have a book to sell.
- There’s also former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Louisiana Governor Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker; all accomplished state executives, all flirting with the notion of the presidency.
- And then there is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Ahem.
Faced with this field, Romney still remains coy on whether he will toss his hat into the ring once again.
“Someone else has a better chance than I do,” Romney said in the interview. “And that’s what we believe, and that’s why I’m not running.”
Romney added, though, “And you know, circumstances can change.
“Well, you know, let’s say all the guys that were running all came together and said, ‘Hey, we’ve decided we can’t do it, you must do it.’ That’s the one of the million we’re talking about.”
So, one in a million then. Romney’s leaving the door open. All that’s required is for the current crowd of hopefuls to agree that Romney is the chosen one.
How likely is that? Not very, considering the type of person that mounts a national campaign for the presidency. In the interview, Mitt likened the possibility to “that great line from Dumb and Dumber.” [h/t: Business Insider. Images via Politico, ABC News.]