Talk to any of Mitt Romney’s closest political advisers, and the answer is the same: He won’t run for president in 2016.
“I take Mitt at his absolute word. He’s not running,” says Ron Kaufman, Republican national committeeman for Massachusetts and a senior adviser to Mr. Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.
“He’s been very clear – he loved running, gave it his best, and lost,” Mr. Kaufman told this reporter at the RNC’s summer meeting in Chicago last week. “Now he’s helping the Republicans win the Senate.”
Romney’s former finance chair, Spencer Zwick, has also put out word that Romney is focused on the 2014 midterms and to please stop the draft efforts, which are a distraction. Most significant among them isDraftMitt.org, organized by the chairman of the Utah Republican Party. The three-month-old site is closing in on 117,000 signatures. The campaign’sFacebook page is also getting a lot of traffic.
“Look, the focus needs to be on the midterm elections. That’s what Mitt is doing,” Mr. Zwick told the Deseret News in Salt Lake City last month. “The organization has no merit. None.”
But in Chicago last week, when asked about his draft effort, Utah GOP chairman James Evanswas happy to talk.
“We are mindful of Romney insiders’ concerns, but we’re not going away,” says Mr. Evans.