There are a number of problems with Mitt Romney’s proposed third run for president, which he outlined to an RNC crowd Friday night.
Chief among them: nobody in his own party wants him to do it. From lawmakers to former media megaphones to guys with Mitt Romney tattoos, everybody even tangentially connected to the GOP thinks Romney needs to take the hint and exit stage right.
Romney was the leader of his party in 2012; those lawmakers he led are now waving him off of a third run.
“He got defined early, after he got through the nomination process, and they spent a lot of money to define him,” Senator John Thune (R-SD) said. “And those issues are still there. That doesn’t change, and that narrative is still out there.”
“The third time is not a charm,” said Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA). “And as much respect and admiration as I have for Governor Romney I’m not one of those who is encouraging him to enter the race right now. Again, I just don’t think there’s much to be gained by a third kick here. I don’t think it’ll work out for him.”
GOP Party Leaders
Politico found party leaders deeply skeptical of another Romney bid, with state party chairmen saying “I have not detected a groundswell of support for him,” and asking, “What’s going to be different this time?”
Romney could always attempt to use this to form an anti-establishment campaign. (Good luck.) But as of right now, this is a sentiment echoed all the way down to the activist level.
Some GOP Donors
While Romney has a cushion of donors — arguably his base — excited by his return, at least one big name donor is actively working against him. “My family spent enormous time and money to elect Mitt Romney despite our concerns,” Randy Kendrick said in an email obtained by the Daily Caller. “However, lesson learned, I will work early and tirelessly now to make sure he is not our nominee again.”
Washington Post conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin was a direct media conduit for the 2012 Romney campaign, often reprinting their spin as objective reality. So, as Salon’s Simon Maloy pointed out, if Romney’s lost Rubin…
The NewsCorp owner minced no words telling Romney to get lost. “He had his chance, he mishandled it,” Murdoch said. “I thought Romney was a terrible candidate.”
Wrongest Man in Politics Bill Kristol, who can spin anything, can’t spin Romney 2016. On Morning Joe the other day he rolled his eyes at a Romney advisor’s confidence, saying “all Romney aides should shut up.”
Master strategist Karl Rove didn’t sound enthused at all about another Romney run. “He’s a reticent guy,” Rove said Friday. “I’m sorry, but when you run for president, you can’t be reticent. You’ve got to recognize that people want to know who you are.”
Palin, who knows a thing or two about quitting, told Romney to quit. “We need new blood,” she said this week.
The Washington Post columnist told Romney to keep moving, as he was, in Will’s characteristically pleonastic phrasing, “less than nimble at the business of courting voters” in 2012.
Mitt Romney Face Tattoo Guy
Eric Hartsburg, who inexplicably got Romney’s 2012 campaign logo tattooed on the side of his face, heard this week of Romney’s potential bid and just shook his inked head. “Might be too late for that guy…” he said. That’s gotta hurt as much as the tattoo itself.
His Potential Opponents
Perhaps fearing that Romney will use his vast resources to take down his GOP rivals, as Murdoch warned, his potential primary opponents came out loudly against him. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said the party needed a “fresh face,” while Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) called a third Romney run “the definition of insanity.”
[Image via Charlotte Purdy / Shutterstock.com]
>> Follow Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) on Twitter
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org