Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney laid out his short list of Republicans he’d like to see run for president in 2016 — and there were a couple rather noticeable omissions.
The former Massachusetts governor spoke to Neil Cavuto on Fox News Tuesday about New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie’s presidential prospects, particularly in the wake of the George Washington Bridge scandal. Romney said he does not believe Christie was directly involved, but that even if he was the Republican Party has many more “terrific people” to chose from.
“You know Paul Ryan will always be first and foremost in my mind,” he claimed, “given the extraordinary campaign we worked on together and his leadership in Washington. But Jeb Bush may get in, Mike Huckabee may come back, Scott Walker in Wisconsin could run, John Kasich in Ohio –”
“But Paul Ryan is your guy, if he were to run?” Cavuto interjected. “Well, I’m not gonna choose favorites,” Romney backtracked. “I don’t intend at this point to endorse any in the campaign until the primaries over.” He noted Paul Ryan was a “good friend,” given their shared experience running for president in 2012.
Cavuto noticed a couple names were missing, however. “But you didn’t mention [Kentucky Republican Sen.] Rand Paul and you didn’t mention [Texas Republican Sen.] Ted Cruz,” the host noted with a grin.
“Well, you know, they represent different parts of the party,” Romney responded. “I’m going to give them a chance to express their views. But I think that we are gonna be best if we can unify behind a leader of the party who represents as broad a portion of the party as possible.”
Translation: Don’t expect me to get behind the Wacko Birds. As a former Republican governor of deep-blue Massachusetts, Romney had no choice but to adopt a moderate Republican platform that often gave government a larger role in the lives of its citizens. That ideology puts Romney distinctly at odds with the senators from Kentucky and Texas, who routinely espouse a libertarian-leaning vision of government distinctly smaller than his own.
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