Romney On Not Running Again: ‘Circumstances Can Change’

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that “circumstances can change” when asked Tuesday about his decision not to run for president again in 2016, and said that his former running mate Paul Ryan would make a great president.

“I know you’re going to press, but you know, this is something we gave a lot of thought to when early on I decided we’re not going to be running this time,” Romney told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “And again, we said look, I had the chance of running. I didn’t win. Someone else has a better chance than I do. And that’s what we believe, and that’s why I’m not running. And you know, circumstances can change, but I’m just not going to let my head go there.”

“I remember that great line from Dumb and Dumber,” Romney said, paraphrasing a Jim Carrey line about one in a million odds. “You’re telling me I have a chance?”

“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,” Romney said. “That’s the one of the million we’re thinking about.”

Romney was quick to praise Rep. Paul Ryan, who told Hewitt Monday that he would like to see Romney run again in 2016. Ryan is currently angling for the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee and said that he does not intend to run for Speaker of the House after the 2014 midterms.

“I think Paul has the kinds of qualities you’d like to see either in a president or in the highest levels of leadership in other parts of Washington, namely the House,” Romney said.

Romney enjoyed a public relations bump after the sympathetic behind-the-scenes 2012 campaign documentary “Mitt” was released this year. The campaign on which that documentary was based, however, was notably weak and reflected a poor understanding of modern media. Romney was upfront in the interview about some of his mistakes.

“First, I think we have to work very early on, on Hispanic media, to make sure that our message is heard loud and clear by Hispanic voters,” Romney said. “I think we underinvested in Spanish media, and I don’t think we monitored what the Obama people were saying and countered it.”

Romney also seemed certain that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee.

“Well, Hugh, the reason I came to the conclusion I did, which is this is not the right time for me to run, is because of my belief that someone else stands a better chance of winning than I do. Had that not been the case, had I believed I would actually be best positioned to beat Hillary Clinton, then I would be running. But I actually believe that someone new that is not defined, yet, someone who perhaps is from the next generation, will be able to catch fire, potentially, build a movement, and be able to beat Hillary Clinton.”

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Patrick Howley