After two years of denying any interest in seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, Mitt Romney has reportedly changed his mind.
This would mark Romney’s third attempt at the White House, after two failed bids.
Politico reports that nearly a dozen Republican National Committee members said in interviews this past week that they did not support Romney.
The consensus appears to be that the GOP needs to find a new candidate after the difficult loss the party suffered in 2012 wherein Romney was defeated by Obama.
“He had a great opportunity last time and I personally want a fresh face,” said Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere. “What’s going to be different this time?”
Whether support exists for Romney, Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Rob Gleason weighed in.
“I have not detected a groundswell of support for him,” Gleason said.
The built-in network of donors and political supporters Romney has could work to his benefit if he ran again, as less work would be required than with another candidate. He also brings with him experience from two failed campaigns and the ability to alter the new campaign to possibly be more successful.
“People have obviously run and then come back and been successful, others have run and come back and been unsuccessful,” said Steve Robertson, the Kentucky Republican Party Chairman. “Quite frankly, he’s probably learned a lot from 2012. Sometimes, experience is your best teacher.”
Romney would not be the first candidate to run multiple times before winning the coveted position of President.
Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagon and George H.W. Bush all ran unsuccessful bids for the presidency before eventually winning.
Romney will be in attendance at the Republican National Committee Winter meeting this week and have the ear of some of the most influential Party members.
The meeting takes place just as Romney has hired Colin Reed, a former top aide to former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, to help him.
According to The Boston Globe, Romney plans to change the core of his campaign this time around. Instead of relying on economic stewardship, he would run on an antipoverty platform, and highlight his qualifications on foreign affairs.
A longtime Romney adviser views him as the “Turnaround” guy and supports his third bid.
“If you believe in your heart that this country is going to hell in a hand basket and is worse than ever, you owe it to your country to think about this,” the adviser said. “There’s a burden there to think this thing through carefully. But there needs to be a rationale … If we made one mistake — and we made more than one in ’12 — it was in not making people understand this is the Turnaround guy.”
Should Romney seek the Republication nomination, he will have tough competition and a “crowded field”—more so than in 2012.
Current prospective nominees include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and tea party favorites Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.
“I think this is a stronger field than we had in 2012,” said RNC Official Henry Barbour of Mississippi. “It’s a deeper field. It will be tough for whoever runs, including Mitt.”
“There’s certainly a lot of appreciation for his talents and his abilities,” said Tennessee RNC Official John Ryder. “But we’re now more than two years later, and a lot of other candidates have emerged. He’s got to make the case as to why this time would be better than the last and how he can reclaim the loyalties of supporters who have begun to drift off."
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