In what would be the most unlikable primary election in the history of the United States, Mitt Romney’s supporters are suggested that the failed 2012 nominee would like to return and take on Donald Trump.
“He’s someone to whom civility means a lot. The whole Trump thing really bothers him,” a close Romney adviser told me — and some Romney-ites are only too happy to talk up the prospect of their man jumping into the race if the Establishment fails to stop Trump, whose support in Iowa and New Hampshire is currently greater than Jeb Bush’s, Scott Walker’s, Marco Rubio’s, Chris Christie’s, and John Kasich’s combined.
“Mitt wants to run. He never stopped wanting to run,” a senior member of his 2012 team told me. Other Romney-ites, watching this cycle’s candidates falling short, feel a sense of vindication after all the attacks they endured after Romney’s failed 2012 bid. “These guys like Walker and Perry, they were big deals in their states, but you get them onto the national stage and it’s a different story,” a former Romney adviser told me. “It’s like they were in middle school, and now they’re freshmen in high school and they’re getting their faces slammed in the toilets.”
The pivot away from Trump is interesting because Mitt Romney sucked up to the billionaire and campaigned with him in 2012.
In February 2012, I wrote about the deal that Romney cut with Trump, “It appears that Mitt Romney not only negotiated for Donald Trump’s endorsement, but he also cut a deal with the birther/reality TV star to keep Trump out of the race as a third party candidate. Time’s Mark Halperin is reporting that Trump has agreed not to launch a third-party candidacy for president if Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination.”
Could Romney really come back to challenge Trump in the primaries? It is doubtful, but one far out scenario involves the Republican Party rallying around Romney is Trump is the delegate leader at the Republican convention.
If Trump stays strong into early 2016, Republicans are going to become increasingly desperate to derail him. Desperate people do desperate things, and bringing Mitt Romney back for another run at the White House would be the height of desperation.