Mitt Romney was once steadfast that he has no plans to run for president again in 2016, but with Republican political machine of lining up support behind the 2012 runner up, it appears he could be changing his mind.
Though Romney was soundly defeated by President Obama in 2012, the former governor of Massachusetts remained active politically by supporting candidates. The action not only kept Mitt relevant — and something of a kingmaker, with a string of successful candidates in primaries — it also allowed Romney to keep his fundraising system intact.
This has led to support for Romney, including surprisingly strong polls in New Hampshire for 2016. A CNN/ORC poll also showed that if the 2012 election were re-run, Americans would have voted 53 percent to 44 percent in favor of Romney.
Now, after months of denying that he wanted to run, Mitt Romney appeared to open the door to the possibility.
From The Week:
“On Tuesday, Romney opened the door ever so slightly to another run in 2016, telling a radio show that “circumstances can change.” On Wednesday, a poll of Iowa caucusgoers showed Romney easily leading a field of possible Republican presidential contenders in 2016. Romney won the support of 35 percent of respondents, compared with a mere 9 percent for his closest rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (The results are all the more impressive considering that Romney lost the Iowa caucuses in both 2008 and 2012).”
Many pundits think it is still unlikely that Mitt Romney will run in 2016, but Republicans could use his connections. No other potential candidates are standing out in the pack, and meanwhile Hillary Clinton is emerging as the far-and-away favorite to win the Democratic nomination.
But Romney has made headway on this front as well, criticizing Hillary Clinton’s record as Secretary of State:
“I mean, there’s almost not a place in the world that’s better off because of her leadership in the State Department. I think the most disturbing thing I saw from Hillary Clinton was when she was asked whether released the five commanders from Guantánamo back to the Taliban was a threat to the United States and she said ‘no, it’s not a threat to the U.S., it’s a threat to Afghanistan and to Pakistan.’ That may be one of the most clueless responses I’ve heard in a long time.”
So while Mitt Romney has not announced that he will run for president in 2016, if he does join the fray he would likely be the immediate GOP frontrunner.