Is this the latest strategy to help the Republican establishment fend off the seemingly unstoppable force of Donald Trump?
There are reports from political insiders that Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, is now considering an entry into the 2016 race for the White House.
The rumor was fueled by former Trump adviser Roger Stone, who tweeted: “With the weak performance of @JebBush my sources tell me @MittRomney is reconsidering getting in.”
Stone appeared on CNN over the weekend to discuss his theory Romney may run.
“I have a very good Rolodex when it comes to the Republican Party, confirmed by a New York Times reporter who, by the way, told me this morning that she hears the same thing,” Stone told CNN’s Michael Smerconish.
Stone said Trump is dominating the Republican field thus far partially because former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appears to be sleepwalking through the campaign.
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“I do think with Jeb’s failure across the board and his underperformance and that paleo diet, he’s got no energy” said Stone. “He’s just flat. There’s no passion there. There’s no-can-do spirit. It’s somnambulant. This is why Trump is just zooming past him.”
Watch Roger Stone’s comments about Mitt Romney:
Just last week, Trump had less-than-flattering words for Romney’s failed bid for president three years ago.
“He let us down. Mitt Romney let us down,” Trump told reporters at a conference before a town-hall event in Derry, New Hampshire. “He should have won that election. He failed. He choked.”
The billionaire developer said Romney’s loss was “no different than a golfer that misses a putt on the 18th hole. No different than a man who strikes out – a baseball player.”
“Mitt Romney should’ve won that election, and he didn’t. Something happened to him,” Trump alleged. “And that’s not going to happen to me.”
When asked if he, himself, had ever failed, Trump responded: “I don’t – not often.”
“If you want to know the truth, have I failed? Not often.”
See Donald Trump’s comments on Romney:
Before this year’s GOP field of candidates exploded to at least 17 names, Romney had been considering a third try for president, having campaigned in 2008 as well as 2012.
The Washington Examiner says Romney “decided against it, after he lost most of his valuable donor base to Bush, and the massive prospective Republican field proved too unpredictable.”
UtahPolicy.com also reported: “Noted Mitt Romney supporter Orrin Hatch has already thrown his support behind Bush, which could make it uncomfortable between the two men’s camps.”
On Saturday, Bill Kristol asked in the Weekly Standard: “Shouldn’t Republicans be open to doing what Democrats are now considering? That is: Welcoming into the race, even drafting into the race if need be, one or two new and potentially superior candidates?”
Kristol did not mention Romney, but he did proffer several other names, including Romney’s 2012 running mate Paul Ryan, former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
Last week, the Washington Post called Romney a “party eminence who has been relatively silent” about Trump mania. The paper said: “A potentially powerful voice in countering Trump, he has resisted weighing in at length, though friends said he has been monitoring the summer maneuvering with interest. He declined an interview request.”
New York magazine has heard the rumor of Romney’s possible return to presidential politics, and noted:
“One of the unfortunate inevitabilities of American politics is that voters forget they ever thought a politician was the only hope for saving the republic once said politician announces any ambitions to govern it. Just ask Hillary Clinton, whose favorability ratings dropped considerably when she went from being Secretary of State to White House frontrunner. Candidates in the rearview mirror always appear more heroic than they are.
“So, enjoy being the Republican Party’s unattainable and desirable savior while you can, Mitt Romney, and remember they’ll only stay twitterpated as long as you remain the one that got away.”