WASHINGTON, September 7, 2014 — On Fox News with Chris Wallace, Mitt Romney said he would make a better president than Hillary Clinton. However, he also said, that is not a good enough reason for him to run again in 2016.
The 2012 Republican presidential candidate says his time has come and gone and it is time for someone else to pick up that baton. And that person is very much undefined at this time.
Paul Ryan, his former VP running mate says he thought Romney should run again in 2016.
“I’ve spoken at this time and time again,” said Romney on Fox News Sunday. “I’m not running. I’m not planning on running. I’m going to be helping the person who takes the banner for us.”
All that said, Romney does not feel Clinton is the best choice for America.
Polls suggest Romney could do well, particularly considering the things President Obama derided him for that have come back to burn Obama and vindicate Romney.
For example, Obama mocked Romney’s concerns over Russia, saying “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. The Cold War has been over for twenty years.”
Romney said the United States should leave a presence in Iraq and take a more proactive role in Syria. In a debate on foreign policy Obama clearly said that he did not support leaving any troops in Iraq.
“Every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong,” Obama said to Mitt Romney. “You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day.”
But he wasn’t wrong about Russia, he wasn’t wrong about Iraq, and he was right when he warned that Obamacare would force millions to lose their health plans.
It is Obama who was wrong about Russia, Iraq, the terrorist spinoffs of al-Qaeda, and lost health plans. He was wrong for America then and, according to polls, now.
All of this adds luster to Romney. A recent USA /Today poll of Iowa voters shows Romney with a huge lead over other possible Republican candidates.
Romney feels Clinton will be wrong for America; he says she lacks the qualifications for the job.
“You’ve also got to have people who’ve actually run something,” he said. “The government of the United States is the largest enterprise in the world. You watched a president who just doesn’t understand how to make an administration work, how to interact with Congress, how to get things done. You have to have those things. I don’t think Hillary Clinton has that experience.”
He says he won’t run again, though he stops short of saying “never.” He hedges his bets, saying that he is “not planning on running”.
“There are other good people who I’m sure will be able to lead the country in the future. I wish it were me,” he said Sunday. “It was a great experience running for president. I loved that. But my time has … come and gone. I had that opportunity. I ran, I didn’t win. And now, it’s time for someone else to pick up the baton.”
Pat Buchanan’s appearance on The McLaughlin Group could be entitled “He that doeth protest too much,” as he predicts Romney is going to run in 2016.
“There is no doubt Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Mitt Romney are in the establishment category or bracket that are headed for the finals,” Buchanan said. “I think Mitt would come out first but I really don’t see Bush as really having the drive or inner drive. And I think, then you get Mitt Romney against someone like a Cruz, or someone like that, and I think that would be the finals. And I think that Mitt has got it in his heart to do this thing.”
“The only cure for presidential fever is embalming fluid. I think he’s going to run,” Buchanan said to host John McLaughlin.
Buchanan cautioned the GOP about nominating Romney, saying that he doubted Romney could “make the kind of historic comeback Nixon accomplished in 1968.” But that comment might have been more about his recent book, The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority, than about Mitt Romney
Romney lost a race he should have won because of a series of verbal missteps, not substance. Comments about his wife’s Cadillacs and not being concerned over the “very poor” played badly with voters.
But are voters willing to forgive those statements now that our White House is in such disarray?
There is an illegal immigration crisis at the border. ISIS has exploded from what Obama called a “JV squad” to a serious national threat. Crises in Ukraine and Syria make it plain that Russia remains a serious foe. And let’s not forget the too-quiet-all-summer Trey Gowdy and his commission to investigate Benghazi, the IRS scandal that has Lois Lerner in contempt, the ongoing Veterans Administration scandal, Bowe Bergdahl, EPA harrassments, HHS and Obamacare, NSA spying, and the unresolved Fast and Furious.
All of this could taint Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, as well as hurting Clinton’s 2016 presidential run.