Mitt Romney spent much of his campaign for president in 2012 battling “Obamneycare”: the claim that President Barack Obama’s health care initiative was based on Romneycare, the health care system Romney put in place as governor of Massachusetts.
Yet on Friday, Romney appeared finally to admit the obvious—that the Affordable Care Act was based on the Bay State’s successful health care initiative. What’s more, the man who ran on a platform of repealing Obamacare seemed to concede that the national health care law is working.
“Without Tom pushing it, I don’t think we would have had Romneycare,” Romney told the Boston Globe for an obituary of his friend, Staples founder Tom Stemberg, who passed away Friday. “Without Romneycare, I don’t think we would have Obamacare. So without Tom, a lot of people wouldn’t have health insurance.”
That was some admission, and a tremendous flip-flop for Romney. But then came—wait for it—another Romney flip-flop on this matter. On Friday afternoon, Romney took to Facebook to declare that he still opposed Obamacare:
Getting people health insurance is a good thing, and that’s what Tom Stemberg fought for. I oppose Obamacare and believe it has failed. It drove up premiums, took insurance away from people who were promised otherwise, and usurped state programs. As I said in the campaign, I’d repeal it and replace it with state-crafted plans.
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, told a group of supporters on Friday that he would not seek his party’s nomination for president in 2016.
Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, shared his decision on a conference call with a small group of advisers.
In a second call to a larger group of supporters, Mr. Romney said, “After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”
Mr. Romney said he believed he could win the nomination, but he expressed concern about harming the party’s chances to retake the White House. “I did not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming the president,” he said.
He added that it was “unlikely” that he would change his mind.
Mr. Romney, who did not take questions and ended the call shortly after reading a prepared statement, said that his family had been gratified by the outpouring of support, but had decided that it was best for the Republican Party to step aside. Mr. Romney said he would have no leadership PAC and no exploratory committee.
By not pursuing a third White House bid, Mr. Romney frees up scores of donors and operatives who had been awaiting his decision, and creates space for other potential center-right candidates such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Mr. Romney, 67, had expressed renewed interest in another presidential run to a group of donors earlier this month, roiling the nascent Republican race. Many of his loyal contributors, staff members and supporters had been reluctant to come out for one of his potential rivals until they knew Mr. Romney’s plans.
In a more than four-hour meeting last week, Mr. Romney’s top staff members and trusted advisers from 2012 relayed a sobering reality — they supported Mr. Romney and thought he would be the best president, but they did not necessarily encourage a third run.
One by one, loyal supporters talked about surveying their troops from 2012, and finding that the enthusiasm and support were just not there. Some Iowa precinct leaders were not coming back, and even in New Hampshire — where Mr. Romney had won the primary — the mood was described at best as “cautiously optimistic.” The situation with donors was also going to be an uphill climb.
Word of Mr. Romney’s decision sent waves through the Republican donor world early Friday, as Romney aides began to telegraph the news to donors and other staff members and strategists. Some donors immediately began calling representatives of other potential candidates, such as Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, to discuss offering their support.
Mr. Romney’s announcement started a day of reckoning with his would-be rivals. He is scheduled to have dinner with Mr. Christie on Friday evening, according to two people with knowledge of his schedule, suggesting that Mr. Romney may be considering throwing his support, and that of his own political operation, to Mr. Christie. The two men are friendly, and Mr. Christie, along with Mr. Bush, was a main rival of Mr. Romney for the favor of the Republican establishment.
Mr. Bush offered his own warm words for Mr. Romney in a post on Facebook on Friday morning.
Mitt is a patriot and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over,” Mr. Bush wrote. “I look forward to working with him.”
At 11 on Thursday night, a blast email was sent from a mittromney.com address, alerting supporters about a conference call on Friday morning.
“Please join me for an update call tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. EST, 8:00 a.m. PST,” wrote Mr. Romney, adding the dial-in information and concluding, “All the best, Mitt.”
In an appearance at Mississippi State University on Wednesday, Mr. Romney sounded themes that could have shaped another campaign. But he also lamented the nature of the political process and offered a dose of barely veiled self-criticism, discussing some of the shortcomings of his 2012 campaign and the lessons he learned from his loss to President Obama.
Mr. Romney’s decision will almost certainly bring an end to his decade-long quest to become president. He lost in the Republican primary in 2008 before becoming his party’s standard-bearer four years later.
Friday’s conference call seemed bittersweet for the Romney family. At one point, Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, came on the line and thanked the former aides for their steadfast support.
But luck was clearly not with Mr. Romney this time, even as he shared the news with his former staff members on his morning call. Mr. Romney’s voice fell off the line as the connection was suddenly dropped.
WASHINGTON — Thought the 2012 presidential campaign was over? Think again.
President Barack Obama didn’t have much to say about Mitt Romney’s rekindled aspirations for the White House when he delivered a flat, “No comment,” earlier this month. But apparently he couldn’t resist much longer, following reports that the former GOP candidate was weighing entering the ring in 2016 on a platform focused on lifting up the middle class and eliminating poverty.
Addressing House Democrats at their annual retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday night, Obama referred to one “former presidential candidate” who was “suddenly deeply concerned about poverty.”
“That’s great. Lets do something about it,” Obama said, according to a White House pool report.
Romney fired back on Twitter, by noting poverty levels under the Obama administration.
“Mr. Obama, wonder why my concern about poverty? The record number of poor in your term, and your record of failure to remedy,” Romney said.
Obama also said in Philadelphia that he had heard a Republican senator, who he did not name, was “suddenly shocked, shocked, that the 1 percent” was doing much better than the vast majority of Americans.
“I consider imitation the highest form of flattery,” Obama said of Republicans’ sudden embrace of populist rhetoric.
Three Republican senators considering bids for president — Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida — spoke about the need to address income inequality at a summit organized by the Koch Brothers on Sunday.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will attack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the economy and foreign policy during a speech at Mississippi State University on Wednesday night.
According to speech excerpts obtained by NBC, Romney, who has indicated if he decides to run for president again one of the pillars of his campaign would be inequality, will ask “How can Secretary Clinton provide opportunity for all if she doesn’t know where jobs come from in the first place?”
“Short term, our economy is looking up,” Romney plans to say. “But it is a lot better for the few, and pretty darn discouraging for the many. Incomes haven’t gone up in decades.”
Romney’s last presidential campaign in 2008 suffered from repeated attacks related to Romney’s wealth and background as a CEO. One of the lowest points in his campaign came after he said that the 47 percent of the country who depend on government would not vote for him. The moment was caught on video, and circulated widely.
Romney targets Hillary Clinton as he considers presidential bid
Those attacks build on comments his team made earlier Wednesday. As Romney heads to the nation’s poorest state, his political team is fighting back against perceptions that his wealth could be a political liability if he runs for president again, arguing that Clinton is no model for modest living, either.
“It’s going to be hard for Hillary Clinton to make Mitt Romney’s wealth a fruitful line of attack, with her multi-million dollar mansions in Georgetown and Chappaqua and her jet-setting lifestyle of the rich and famous,” a Romney aide said Wednesday.
Going into 2016, Mitt is “determined to re-brand himself as authentic” — which is indeed the very essence of Mitt
If you’re looking for the very stuff of Willard Mitt “Mitt” Romney, the pure essence that lies at the center of his political soul, it can be found in the fourth paragraph of Tuesday’sWashington Post story on the embryonic stages of Mitt’s 2016 presidential campaign (emphasis added):
If he runs again in 2016, Romney is determined to re-brand himself as authentic, warts and all, and central to that mission is making public what for so long he kept private. He rarely discussed his religious beliefs and practices in his failed 2008 and 2012 races, often confronting suspicion and bigotry with silence as his political consultants urged him to play down his Mormonism.
This is Mitt Romney’s burden – a never-ending struggle to convince the country that he’s a normal fellow who does normal fellow things. If only America knew the “real” Mitt Romney, if only they could just see Mitt being Mitt, well, by gosh and by golly, they’d make him president tomorrow! Apparently an important part of the strategy he’s settled on, per the Post, is to talk about being a Mormon, recite Scripture, and “crack jokes about Joseph Smith’s polygamy.” Then he’ll emerge from his custom-built “manse complete with a ‘secret door’ hideaway room and an outdoor spa off the master bath” to give a speech or two on poverty, which will be “a central theme of his next campaign.”
The problem for Romney is that he’s tried this “I’m authentic! Really!” routine so many times before, and it has obviously never worked. He foundered in the 2008 primaries against John McCain and Mike Huckabee because they came off as more genuine in their policy positions and more comfortable in their ideological skins than Romney, who desperately wanted Republican voters to believe that he was a true conservative and a real person. And so going into 2012, Romney and his advisers were committed to show the political world that Mitt was a conservative Average Joe.
They sent Mitt to NASCAR events, where he forged his link with the common man by talking about his wealthy friends who own NASCAR teams. They sent him down to the South, where we sampled the local cuisine and took a stab at speaking the regional dialect: “I’m learning to say ‘y’all’ and I like grits. Strange things are happening to me.” These are the ways Mitt Romney tries to connect with people. He’s not offensive and he’s not completely robotic – he just has no idea what people expect of him.
The Romney awkwardness finally came to a head in early October 2012. Behind in all the polls and not gaining traction on any issue, Mitt’s people fed to Politico the story of how Romney’s family usurped the campaign strategists and “pushed for a new message, putting an emphasis on a softer and more moderate image for the GOP nominee — a ‘let Mitt be Mitt’ approach they believed more accurately reflected the looser, generous and more approachable man they knew.” At the time the story ran, Romney was bouncing back in the polls owing to his stronger-than-expected performance in the first debate against Obama, and Team Romney was eager to paint the turnaround as a consequence of The Authentic Romney finally emerging. “When the history of this campaign is written, the family intervention will be among the most important turning points in the Romney saga,” Politico reported at the time.
Of course, Mitt spent the entire month of October “being Mitt” and still lost handily – turns out you can’t erase multiple years of poor campaigning and quell voters’ long-standing suspicions with a few weeks of not-totally-incompetent messaging.
And now, after letting himself be himself and failing, Romney wants to rebrand as a still more authentic version of himself. There is no known limit to the depths of Romney’s authenticity. And that, again, gets to Romney’s problem of never knowing what people expect of him. He keeps promising us over and over that we still haven’t seen the “real” Mitt Romney. He probably thinks that’s what people want to hear, and doesn’t quite get that he’s just confirming to anyone who still cares that every Mitt Romney we’ve seen up to now has been fake.
In a possible setback for Mitt Romney’s latest Presidential ambitions, a new poll reveals that a majority of Americans now regard the former Massachusetts governor as a stalker.
The poll results suggest that Romney’s presence in every Presidential campaign in recent memory has taken its toll on the American people, who have expressed disbelief that he would return after being repeatedly told in no uncertain terms that he was not wanted.
Additionally, many of those surveyed said that they previously felt harassed by the Massachusetts governor’s relentless e-mails and phone calls, and favored some form of intervention to keep Romney from contacting them in the future.
In an indication of how much Romney’s serial candidacies have traumatized the American people, more than fifty per cent said that they would support a restraining order to keep the former nominee five hundred feet from the United States until the 2016 election had safely passed.
In an interview on Monday, Romney said that the inauspicious poll results would not discourage him from seeking the White House for a third time. “I know that I’m the right man for the American people, and nothing they say or do will stop me,” he said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney says there is no question in his mind that he would have been more effective in the White House than President Barack Obama. But he reiterates he has no plans to run again.
My time has come and gone, Romney told Fox News Sunday.
Romney cited continuing high U.S. unemployment and growing troubles abroad, and that some of those who voted for Obama might now have some buyer’s remorse.
Yet he said he didn’t want to dwell on the past, while admitting he had made mistakes in his campaign — and that the Obama campaign did a good job on picking up on them.
Romney said, “I’m not running and not planning on running.”
In a move that can be seen as either desperation or ‘we’re all gonna die anyway, so what the hell?’ conservatives are casting their eyes westward to a man — a stoic man, an honest and true man of values, standing knee deep in the Pacific Ocean watching the sun go down on America — as their savior in 2016.
That man is a man called Mitt. Family man, businessman, gentle and attentive lover, and owner of both a car elevator and a losing career in elections.
Surveying the 2016 GOP field and falling into a pit of existential dread and despair where there is no light, no hope, no exit, nothing but a bleak meaningless abyss of wretchedness and desolation, Republicans see hope in the sparkle of Mitt Romney’s eyes and the Earth-mother joy in life his wife Ann brings to the party.
So the ‘Why not Mitt?’ crowd is going to throw some shit against the wall and see what sticks. After all, that is what fan-mag Politico does.
In an article subheaded, “I’m absolutely serious,” a former George W Bush White House person you have never heard of states his case.
Pointing to a recent poll stating 45 percent [or 3 percent less than voted for him in 2012] of voters polled said the United States would be better off today with Romney as president, Emil Henry says that Mitt Romney was very well received indeed at a rave he threw for a bunch of his pals in Utah:
That was also the question on not just the minds but the lips of many at a recent private gathering in Utah known as the E2 Summit, Romney’s now-annual retreat for high-profile politicians, policymakers, innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, top bundlers and, of course, a core group of long-time Romney loyalists.
Noting that the GOP field is “fractured” and filled with loons, untested loons, corrupt loons, and loser loons, Henry suggests that Romney is better than nothing and, besides, Morning Caffeinated Anger Dad Joe Scarborough — who may or may not have had a hand in a rage-filled explosion of lust and betrayal resulting in a staffer’s death – says Romney is ‘da bomb,’ which is a phrase popular with middle-aged white men who consider themselves ‘hip to the kids lingo, yo.’
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who opened the conference in Utah, said it best: There is no Republican who can “fill the stage” better than Mitt Romney.
Again: YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO CLEVELAND IN THE SUMMER, REPUBLICANS. DO YOU WANT THIS GIFT-WRAPPED?
Lastly Henry notes that all the other Presidential failures (George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain) were “career politicians.”
Where Romney stands out versus every failed nominee of the last half century is that he, a lifelong businessman with just one successful four-year stint as governor of Massachusetts, is not a career politician.
This is true. Romney ran against Ted Kennedy for a Senate seat and lost in 1994. He then licked his wounds, saved the Olympics, and came back and was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002. Then he ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, only to lose to shouty Palin-annointer John McCain. And most recently he ran against Barack Obama in 2012 and lost again giving him a career record of 1-3.
So while it is true that he is not a “career politician,” that might have something to do with the fact that people who vote cooperated and kept him that way by giving him a helping hand.
With one finger extended.
So, yeah, he’s your guy. His record speaks for itself and he’s totally due so you guys should do this thing.
After the last two elections, we expect nothing less.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday said that the notion of marriage should not evolve from what it was 2,000 or 3,000 years ago because only a mother and a father could provide an ideal environment for children. During an interview…
There’s no doubt in my mind that Mitt Romney is prepping for a 2016 run. You heard it here first…[KS]
No 47-percent reaction? Far more is missing than present in the new Netflix documentary on Romney.
Forgive me for being parochial, but I was looking for a specific piece of footage in the new Netflix behind-the-scenes documentary on Mitt Romney—simply titled Mitt—that was made by Greg Whiteley, who trailed the GOP candidate for six years through Election Night 2012. I yearned to see Romney’s response to the release of the 47-percent video: how he personally reacted to this revelation and how his campaign planned its public reply. This was a significant moment in Romney’s political life. How he handled it could be quite enlightening. After all, the film does record how Romney dealt with his 2008 loss in the GOP presidential primaries. (In conversations with his family, Romney acknowledges he was branded “the flippin’ Mormon,” and says, “I think I’m a flawed candidate.”) But Whiteley offers us no peek at how the former CEO processed the historic 47-percent moment that did much to define him—or reinforce an existing definition.
In fact, for all the access Whiteley obtained, he serves up little material that will alter the basic story of Mitt. Sure, the viewer will learn that Romney likes to romp in the snow with his grandkids, that he’s happier with a pair of duct-taped gloves than a new set, that he has a somewhat dark sense of humor, that he often thinks of his father, that wife Ann is tightly strung, and that Romney likes to pick up trash from the floors or balconies of hotel rooms during tense moments (say, before he hits the stage for a debate or prior to the announcement of election results). Certainly, Romney comes across as less robotic in these 90-minutes of home-movie-like scenes. But the film offers no insights about the fellow. His faults as a presidential candidate are not examined. What he really believes—other than the notion that the nation is heading off a cliff due to too much taxation and regulation—is left on the cutting room floor. That is, if it was ever captured.
The documentary, in a way, is anti-matter, shaped by what it does not cover. Campaign deliberations are not chronicled. Critical decisions are barely detailed. The film tracks Romney during the 2008 primaries; it ignores the 2012 GOP contests (picking up the narrative at the 2012 convention). Grandchildren get more screen time than key aides. It’s as if the movie was produced in a bubble—actually, a bubble within a bubble.
Mitt appears to be an effort to rehab Romney’s image—to show the real family guy, not the 1-percent caricature. Yet there’s not much here to prompt a serious reconsideration. And the documentary answers no questions that linger after Romney’s two failed expeditions toward the White House. Perhaps most Americans are not craving such answers. But Romney and his campaign did leave behind material that should be explored. The list below of moments and matters that do not appear in Whiteley’s narrow version of RomneyWorld show that there is not much to miss in Mitt.