A group of former GOP nominee Mitt Romney's wealthy donors and loyalists are planning to push for his nomination from the convention floor next year in Cleveland, the author of a new book about the party's plans to take over the White House claims.
"In recent months, Romney loyalists have told me (on condition of anonymity) that [Donald] Trump's rise has added urgency to their strategizing," Buzzfeed writer McKay Coppins
says in a Friday article.
"One former Romney fundraiser said he was in contact with several serious 2012 donors and fundraisers — particularly wealthy Mormons and people in private equity — who were 'keeping their powder dry' in hopes that Mitt would enter the race."
In his book, "The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House,"
which was released earlier this month, Coppins writes that when Romney pulled out of the race earlier, his confidants urged him not to take himself out of the running, laying out a scenario in which the party would be too divided to pick a single nominee.
Even Romney's statement when pulling out of the race, when he said it "seems unlikely" if he'd change his mind, kept hope alive, said Coppins in the book.
"There are bitter-enders who have read that statement a hundred times, and they think it's going to happen — maybe on the floor of the convention," he wrote in the book that one of the fundraisers told him.
Romney's camp did not respond to requests for comments for Friday's story, but he has often said he will not seek the nomination.
But in his book, Coppins said some insiders had begun a "Draft Mitt" strategy.
And last month, The Washington Post
reported that the GOP was in a panic over the possibility of Donald Trump or Ben Carson winning the nomination, and that Romney's friends had "mapped out a strategy for a late entry to pick up delegates and vie for the nomination in a convention fight, according to the Republicans who were briefed on the talks."
Their plan, though, was not outlined.
But, Collins said Romney loyalists have told him that Trump's climb to power is adding to the urgency to their call, and one said he was in contact with several of Romney's backers from 2012 who are hoping he enters the race.
Further, Romney friend Spencer Zwick has refused offers from several GOP candidates this year, leaving him open to join with Romney. Coppins said that Zwick told him earlier this year that he was focusing on defeating Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, and he now leads House Speaker Paul Ryan's fundraising efforts.
But there are reasons to doubt the reports of such a plan, Coppins conceded, and Romney could even reject the nomination, if it is presented.
Also, convention rules say candidates need a majority of delegates from each of eight states, which could be difficult to obtain for Romney, but his loyalists say his "sense of duty will ultimately win out," Coppins concludes.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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