Mitt Romney’s Many Top 2016 Contenders

Jan 24, 2014 2:06pm
GTY mitt romney jef 140124 16x9 608 Mitt Romneys Many Top 2016 Contenders

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he’s done running for president. But ask him who he might get behind in a 2016 Republican primary and you’re more likely to get an earful.

In recent interviews Mitt Romney has been all over the map when it comes to who he thinks has the best chance of winning the presidency.

By all appearances, Romney, a former governor himself, seems partial to former chief executives like former Governors Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush. Occasionally he’ll throw in his former running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

But in general, the list seems to get longer every time he’s asked. Romney, it seems, is no closer to settling on his favorite potential 2016 contender than the rest of the country–or at least he isn’t ready to say so publicly:

1. Jan. 24, 2014

“This is a time for Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Mike Pence, John Kasich–a long list–Marco Rubio,” Romney said on the “Today Show.” “There are lots of folks who should have the chance to be our nominee, and I’m going to support the one who gets the prize.”

 2. Jan. 18, 2014

“I think that Chris Christie and Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, and the list goes on, have a much better chance of doing that, and so I will support one of them as they become the nominee,” Romney told the New York Times.

3. Nov. 3, 2013

“It’s a pretty compelling story. And there are some other very compelling stories.  Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio — I mean, there’s a long list of very capable people,” he said on Meet the Press. “But Chris Christie stands out as one of the very strongest lights in the Republican Party.”

But there’s one name that never seems to come up: tea party Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

He hasn’t yet volunteered Cruz’s name, and when he was asked directly about Cruz, Romney dodged. “I’m not going to disqualify anybody,” he said on “Meet the Press.”

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