2012 organization

Ruled out 2016 presidential
campaign on Jan. 30, 2015

Mitt Romney
[website static; activity is on facebook and Twitter]
mittromney | @mittromney
see also

Draft Mitt
draftmitt  |  @draft_mitt

Conventional Wisdom

- Experience and lessons learned from having run two previous campaigns; "third time's the charm."
- Establishment support and
fundraising ability.
- Name ID, nationally known and has been thoroughly vetted.


- Ability to connect with the "47-percent" (+); attacks on Bain, wealth.
- Not a favorite of many conservatives.
- Jeb Bush candidacy would draw away establishment support.
- Re-run; voters want something new.


- Speech at the RNC Winter Meeting, U.S.S. Midway, San Diego, CA, Jan. 17, 2015.

2015 - The January Blip.  After putting a damper on presidential speculation throughout 2014, Romney changed the equation on Friday, Jan. 9.  This came at a time when former Gov. Jeb Bush looked increasingly likely to run, having launched a leadership PAC earlier in the week.  At a meeting with a group of about 30 donors in Manhattan, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Romney said, "I want to be president."  One source quoted Romney stating, "Everybody in here can go tell your friends that I'm considering a run."  The report generated numerous stories and headlines over the next week.  A Jan. 12 article in the Washington Post carried the headline "Romney moves to reassemble campaign team for ‘almost certain’ 2016 bid."  The same day Politico's Maggie Haberman and James Hohmann reported in an article headlined "The selling of Mitt 3.0" that, "Romney has been burning up the phones to top members of his old finance team." 

Still a third Romney campaign seemed wildly improbable. 
Skepticism boiled up in the days following Jan. 12.  For example, the Wall Street Journal led off a Jan. 14 editorial "Romney Recycled" asking, "If Mitt Romney is the answer, what is the question?" >  On Jan. 17 Romney spoke at the RNC Winter Meeting in San Diego, outlining three principles.  He stated, "First, we have to make the world safer.  Second, we have to make sure and provide opportunity for all Americans regardless of the neighborhood they live in.  And finally, we have to lift people out of poverty." 

Still looking like a potential candidate Romney took on likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a Jan. 28 speech at Mississippi State University.  “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cluelessly pressed a reset button for Russia, which smiled and then invaded Ukraine, a sovereign nation,” Romney said.  He also took her to task on the domestic front, asking, “How can Secretary Clinton provide opportunity for all if she doesn’t know where the jobs come from in the first place?” 
However, a Romney campaign was not going to happen.  Romney operatives and fundraisers continued to sign on with other camps; for example on Jan. 29 the New York Times reported David Kochel, Iowa senior advisor to both Romney's campaigns, was joining Jeb Bush's PAC.  On Jan. 30, in a conference call, Romney made the inevitable announcement in a conference call with key supporters, state "it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee." (+)

Romney held his fourth annual Experts and Enthusiasts (E2) Summit in Deer Valley, Utah on June 11-13.  Several months later, as summer drew to a close, the notion of a possible third Romney campaign sitll had not completely disappeared. 1, 2.

2014 - The notion of a third Romney campaign showed surprising resilience during the year.  Netflix' documentary "Mitt," which premiered on Jan. 24, 2014, produced a wave of favorable publicity.  In June 2014 James Evans, chairman of the Utah Republican Party, launched a DraftMitt.org site, and by July 27, 2014 it had garnered 100,000 supporters.  In Fall 2014, Romney was a popular figure, stumping for Republican candidates around the country. 

Throughout the year Romney seemed to all but rule out a 2016 run.  In an interview with the New York Times run on Jan. 18, 2014, Romney responded, "“Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. People are always gracious and say, ‘Oh, you should run again.’ I’m not running again." (
>)  (Eleven noes).  On Aug. 26, 2014 on "The Hugh Hewitt Show" (>) he put the odds at "one out of a million."  Ann Romney said no, unequivocally, several times as well.  However, a steady trickle of articles kept the idea alive during the year. 

Ann Romney made news of her own during 2014; on Oct. 14, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston announced the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases.

1. Bernie Quigley.  "Will Mitt Romney Jump In?"  Observer, Aug. 31, 2015.
2. Eliana Johnson and Eliana Plott.  "Still Pining for Mitt: Some GOP Donors Hoping Romney Will Jump in the Race."
National Review, Aug. 31, 2015.

Maggie Haberman and James Hohmann.  "The selling of Mitt 3.0."  Politico, Jan. 12, 2015.

Robert Costa, Philip Rucker and Karen Tumulty. 
"Romney moves to reassemble campaign team for ‘almost certain’ 2016 bid."  The Washington Post, Jan. 12, 2015.

Robert Costa.  "Romney huddling with key members of 2012 team tonight."  The Washington Post, Jan. 7, 2015.

Ben White and Maggie Haberman.  "Backers: Romney more open to 2016 run."  Politico.  Dec. 11, 2014.

Linette Lopez and Hunter Walker.  "Romney's Inner Circle Is Convinced He's Running."  Business Insider.  Dec. 4, 2014.

Robert Costa.  "Mitt Romney filling post-midterm role as key behind-the-scenes player in GOP."  The Washington Post..  Nov. 10, 2014.

Philip Rucker and Robert Costa.  "Can't quit Mitt: Friends say Romney feels nudge to consider a 2016 presidential run."  The Washington Post.  Oct. 13, 2014.

Mark Leibovich.  "Mitt Isn't Ready to Call It Quits."  The New York Times Magazine.  Sept. 30, 2014.

Emil Henry.  "The Case for Mitt Romney in 2016."  Politico Magazine.  July 2, 2014.

Phillip Rucker.  "At elite donor summit featuring 2016 GOP hopefuls, a longing for Romney to run again."  The Washington Post.  June 13, 2014.

Also: American Bridge 21st Century PAC: Mitt Romney.

On the campaign trail in 2014...

Examples of fall campaign events.

U.S. Chamber for Joni Ernst (May 29)
Examples of ads.
U.S. Chamber for Thom Tillis (Oct. 29)
Otter for Idaho (Oct. 29)
NH for Scott Brown (Nov. 2)

Greg Whiteley, producer, and Seth Gordon, executive producer.  Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 17, 2014 and on the Netflix Internet TV network on Jan. 24, 2014.  MITT.  Los Gatos, CA: Netflix, Inc. (1, 2)
"...follows Romney's presidential aspirations beginning Christmas 2006 to his initial run to become the Republican nominee in 2008 and through his Presidential concession speech in 2012.  Given unprecedented access by Mitt and his family, Whiteley travels alongside the campaign through interactions with potential voters, preparations for the debates, personal moments with his family, and concluding with final presidential election night results."

  this page last revised Sept. 1, 2015