• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Romney Was Initially Against Running In 2012

mitt-romney-shirtsleeves

According to a new book, Mitt Romney was against the idea of running for President again in 2012:

WASHINGTON — Over the Christmas break of 2010, Mitt Romney and his family took an internal poll on whether he should run for president once more. Twelve family members cast ballots. Ten said no. One of the 10 was Mitt Romney himself.

The doubts that the former Massachusetts governor harbored before ultimately launching his second unsuccessful bid for the presidency are one of several attention-grabbing details in “Collision 2012,” the newest book on the 2012 campaign.

As Balz reports, Romney suffered far more from political cold feet than was previously known. When his family gathers in Hawaii on that Christmas break, he’s worried about the personal toll another campaign would take and whether Republican politics had become completely unsympathetic to a candidate with his background. From Balz’s book:

Mitt Romney had other reasons to think that not running might be the wiser choice. Winning as a moderate from Massachusetts who happened to be Mormon was always going to be difficult. “A lot of the thinking on the part of my brothers and dad was, ‘I’m not sure I can win a primary given those dynamics.'” Tagg Romney said. The prospective candidate also knew the sheer physical and family toll another campaign would take. “He’s a private person and, push comes to shove, he wants to spend time with his family and enjoy his time with them,” his son said. “Even up until the day before he made the announcement, he was looking for excuses to get out of it. If there had been someone who he thought would have made a better president than he, he would gladly have stepped aside.”

In an interview with Balz that’s placed at the very end of “Collision 2012,” Romney explained that he ultimately decided to run when he saw the other (leaving-something-to-be-desired) candidates in the GOP field.

“I didn’t think that any one of them had a good chance of defeating the president,” he told Balz, “and in some cases I thought that they lacked the experience and perspective necessary to do what was essential to get the country on track.”

So basically, Romney ran because he thought the rest of the field stunk. In the end, that’s also the reason that many Republican voters for him, of course, but that’s not exactly the platform on which you build a winning Presidential campaign.

H/T: Taegan Goddard

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rob Miles says:

    It seemed to work for GW. But the again, that’s pretty much the case in both partie now isn’t it? Theprimaries find the nominally least worst candidate for the parties, and the public votes for the nominally least worse of those two.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Sam Malone says:

    If there had been someone who he thought would have made a better president than he, he would gladly have stepped aside.

    There was…his name was, and is, Obama.

    This gives me an opening to go sort of off-topic.
    Romney spent a lot of time talking about taxes:

    I want [lower] tax rates on small & big employers, so they want to be here. Canada’s tax rate on companies is 15%. Ours is 35%. If you’re starting a business, where would you rather start it? We have to be competitive if we’re going to create more jobs here. The rate of regulations quadrupled under Obama. Small businesses across the country say, “We feel like we’re under attack from our own government.” I want to make sure that regulators see their job as encouraging small business, not crushing it.

    The GAO just came out with a study that shows corporations paying a 12.6% rate when the actual rate is 35%.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/308781-gao-corporations-pay-one-third-of-statutory-rate#ixzz2XpPLpeD3
    This is the problem with Republicans. They live in an alternate reality.
    Forget Hispanics…Republicans need to get a grasp of reality if they are going to be productive members of society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  3. Caj says:

    Judging by the outcome, he should have stuck with that feeling. Mitt Romney is Mr Corporation. That’s where his heart lies as he’s all about the money. The little people were not even on his radar. He didn’t seem convincing from day one that he cared about anyone other than his big money buddies. The country was smarter than he gave them credit for. Hence his dramatic loss on election night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    Always follow your first instincts. They’re likely to be right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  5. legion says:

    Only a robot like Romney would take “talking to his family” and call it “an internal poll”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  6. Sam Malone says:

    @ legion…
    and he lost 10 to 2 in his own family.
    he mis-read that polling as badly as he did the polling leading up to the election.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  7. rudderpedals says:

    It’s a long read about how the dog really, truly ate Mitt’s homework. But for the dog he would not be a failure.

    Romney came to bury America, not to praise it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. Gustopher says:

    The man was running for 2012 since Election Day 2008. I don’t believe his story at all.

    He was willing to say anything, to take any position, no matter how ridiculous or untruthful, or clearly disconnected from his past policies, to get through the election. It was not a principled stand of a party elder running for the good of America.

    Why is he lying now? I don’t know, but truth was never his strong suit in the campaign. Perhaps if he claims he never really wanted to run, he doesn’t have to think of his failure as a failure.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  9. al-Ameda says:

    So basically, Romney ran because he thought the rest of the field stunk. In the end, that’s also the reason that many Republican voters for him, of course, but that’s not exactly the platform on which you build a winning Presidential campaign.

    What is obvious to me is that Romney was clearly the best candidate the GOP could offer. As flawed as Romney was, he did get 47% of the vote, and finished only 4% back. No other Republican candidate would have done better. Look at the alternatives: Cain, Bachmann, West, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum …. I’d vote for my neighbor’s cat before I’d consider voting for any of the aforementioned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  10. legion says:

    @Gustopher: I dunno… throughout the entire campaign, it never felt like he had any actual _reason_ to be running other than some sort of douchey “noblesse oblige” – like somebody told him it was “expected” of him. He just took the positions his advisors told him to take, said what was on the cue cards, waved his robotic arm and grinned his robotic grin.

    I agree that the idea of him somehow failing doesn’t fit into his headspace, but I don’t think he had any idea what he was doing out there to begin with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. gVOR08 says:

    Mitt Romney said he was reluctant to run and Dan Baltz duly wrote it down. How could I possibly doubt it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. george says:

    @Gustopher:

    He was willing to say anything, to take any position, no matter how ridiculous or untruthful, or clearly disconnected from his past policies, to get through the election. It was not a principled stand of a party elder running for the good of America.

    Obama is clearly better than Romney, but the above can be said for him too – look for instance at how his stances on many of Bush’s policies altered once in office (and much of the criticism of Obama comes from progressives for just that reason). In fact, I can’t think of any President in the last 50 years for which that can’t be said. In politics, the prime directive is to get elected.
    That works across the board – a fair percentage of party faithful are invariably disappointed whenever one of their own gets elected, because once in office they put politics above principle.

    Romney was, in the GOP camp, the best of a bad lot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. george says:

    @gVOR08:

    Mitt Romney said he was reluctant to run and Dan Baltz duly wrote it down. How could I possibly doubt it?

    Actually given the amount of sh t candidates have to go though (all of them), I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that any of them are reluctant. It certainly explains the people we actually get in politics, most successful folks probably figure they have better options. And again, that goes for all parties, and probably around the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Tillman says:

    I want to know who the two family members were who thought it was a good idea.

    Also, this somewhat conflicts with his having run for president for six-plus years (’08 primaries till ’12 election night). You don’t reluctantly do something like that for a long time unless you have a mortgage to pay.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. rudderpedals says:

    @Tillman: It was the Ann and Tag brain trust

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. edmondo says:

    Here, let me save you all 512 pages and $29.95:

    In 2012, Mitt Romney wanted to run for president in the worst way. And he did.

    The End.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  17. Hal 10000 says:

    This actually makes me like Romney. He looked at the GOP field and realized he couldn’t leave the country to be potentially run by Santorum or Bachmann or Cain or Gingrich. He was right, too. Whatever his faults as a candidate, Romney wasn’t insane. He was easily the best of the GOP field.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. Tillman says:

    @Hal 10000: The problem with this view is that he immediately dismissed Obama as a competent President, which implies he still viewed things through an ideological lens. (Or at least an ignorant one, not taking into account separation of powers and the role of Congress in the last four years.)

    Perhaps I’m just too naive, but I expect businessmen, even ones of Romney’s particular pedigree, to have a more rational, pragmatic view of things than that. Immediately dismissing Obama as inept strikes me as a strategic, rather than objective, decision.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. Hal 10000 says:

    @Tillman:

    Oh, agreed. Romney would have been a great nominee for the GOP a decade earlier. But in 2012, he tried to play with the crazy and it didn’t suit him (or work).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0