Former United States Republican party presidential candidate Mitt
Romney, after a three-week flirtation with another run for president,
has definitively said that he will not seek the White House in 2016.
“After putting considerable thought into making another run for
president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party
the opportunity to become our next nominee,” the Republican Party’s 2012
nominee said in a statement on Friday.
As Romney sounded out his former team about putting together a new
national campaign, he discovered that several of his past fundraisers
had already made plans for 2016 and were committed to supporting former
Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the brother and son of former presidents.
The Associated Press news agency reported that several key former
Romney donors said that in Bush they see someone who can successfully
serve as president, as they believe Romney could. But they also think
Bush has the personality and senior staff needed to win the White House,
something the former Massachusetts governor could not bring together in
his two previous presidential campaigns.
The former governor of Massachusetts had jumped back into the
presidential discussion on January 10, when he surprised a small group
of former donors at a meeting in New York by telling them he was eyeing a
third run for the White House.
It was a monumental change for Romney, who since losing the 2012
election to President Barack Obama had repeatedly told all who asked
that his career in politics was over and that he would not again run for
The exit of Romney from the upcoming campaign most immediately
benefits the other favourites of the party’s establishment wing,
including Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Senator
Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
conservative side of the field is largely unchanged, with a group of
candidates that will likely include Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Texas
Senator Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Romney’s aides had acknowledged a third campaign would have been
more difficult than his second, but insisted he would have had the
necessary financial support, noting his supporters raised more than $1bn
during the 2012 election.