A "growing chorus" of Mitt Romney supporters wanting him to take another shot at the White House is gaining strength, and the GOP's 2012 nominee is beginning to change his own tune about the possibility of getting in the race, Politico reports.
Romney is reportedly "unenthused" with the pool of likely candidates, according to someone who asked Politico to remain anonymous in order to speak openly.
Wearing his "consultant cap," Romney has studied the field and "assessed various people’s strengths and weaknesses dispassionately," according to the anonymous source.
The former Massachusetts governor and wealthy businessman has "deep respect" for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, but Romney "would not defer to Bush as the standard-bearer of the establishment wing of the Republican Party," a Wall Street executive who met with Romney on a recent trip to New York told Politico.
Other potential candidates include Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky; Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan; and Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has become a darling of the tea party movement.
Romney also believes Bush, who has said he will make a decision by the end of the year, would encounter problems on the campaign trail stemming from his private equity investments and his work with investment banks Lehman Brothers and Barclays.
has reported that Bush has similar liabilities that helped sink Romney in 2012, such as offshore private equity funds that could be seen as tax shelters and ties to investments in China.
Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told Businessweek
that "there is nothing related to Gov. Bush’s business interests that would hinder a run for president in any way should that be his decision."
The pool of people urging Romney to run again includes former donors, who, according to Politico, have informed other potential candidates that they are waiting to see what Romney will do.
Some of the top Wall Street executives who met with Romney in New York said they left "more convinced the 2012 nominee was thinking about another run, adding that Romney came across confident he could win … and that the country had turned in his direction and he looks at the field and does not see anyone who does not look very beatable."
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