It was the conference call heard ‘round the world. This morning two-time presidential hopeful Mitt Romney hopped on the line with supporters to say that he will not pursue the the oval office in 2016, declaring that he had decided it would be “ … best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become the next nominee.”
The call puts an end to three weeks of speculation that the former Massachusetts governor was pondering the presidency. While a recent Fox News poll declared Romney to be the early GOP front-runner, many donors didn’t agree, defecting from his campaign to support Jeb Bush. Speaking to his supporters this morning, Romney spoke of the party’s need for a fresh leader saying, “I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee.”
With Romney now out of the race, the GOP’s top candidates are now Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, with aspirants Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee representing the more conservative side of the party.
Though Romney was favored by voters on both sides of the political field, party leaders and big donors were both reluctant to back another presidential run. The conservative billionaire Koch brothers recently hosted a meeting in Palm Springs to discuss their plans to spend $889 million on the 2016 election, appearing to give a nod to Marco Rubio. In what is certain to be one of the most expensive election seasons in history, it seems that donors will really determine the outcome of the race.
Why do you think Mitt Romney chose not to run again? What role did the donors play? Will donor dollars determine who the next GOP and DNC candidates will be?
Jose Del Real, political reporter for the Washington Post