Mitt Romney has decided not to run for president in 2016. The Republican announced the news on Friday. It would have made it the third time that he would have run for the position.
The 2012 nominee called a conference call to share his decision. He was surrounded by donors, advisers and supporters from his previous campaigns. Many expected him to say that he would run for the position, but he said that it time for others within the party to get the “opportunity to become our next nominee.” His advisers reportedly did not know of the decision, and have been in the dark for a number of months.
Just three weeks ago, Romney gathered everyone to tell them that he was thinking about running in the presidential campaign again. The Republican efforts now turn to Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Chris Christie, for Florida and New Jersey respectively. There are other likely candidates, but the two named ones appear to be the favorites at this time. It gives the two more chance now that the former nominee will not take the same financial support he had in 2012.
The fight is currently for the donors for the next campaign. According to South Carolina GOP chairman Matt Moore, many were waiting to see if the 67-year-old would run again. The funds are not infinite, so all candidates will benefit as that “fight for donors” reopens.
While Romney said that he was not running for president in 2016, he did not share the full reasons for that decision. He did say that he was sure he would become the nominee if he wanted it, but wants to give others within the party a chance. He said that it is unlikely that anything will convince him to change his mind now. Eric Fehrnstrom, an adviser for the Republican, did say that he had struggled with this decision.
Romney made it clear that he would not take any donations, nor would a campaign team be hired. It helped to quash the rumors that he would change his mind later. Many supporters were shocked to hear his decision, considering just three weeks ago he announced that he would possibly run for a third time. He even sounded ready to become a candidate again on Wednesday, while speaking at Mississippi State University.
He indicated that Hillary Clinton running for the Democratic nomination played a part. On Friday, Romney said that a newer generation of the Republicans may be better at defeating her—or any other nominee chosen for the Democrats.
There are a number of Republicans considering a campaign for the White House. Senator Marco Rubio is the youngest considering it, at the age of 43. He said that he respected the decision that Romney made to give the next generation a chance. There were mixed reactions from others, but there are some who believe it is time for a fresh face for the presidential campaign. Virginia Republican Party chairman Pat Mullins said that he made the right decision. Romney will definitely not run for president in 2016.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by davelawrence8 – Flickr License