Mitt Romney prepares to concede the 2012 presidential race.
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, said Tuesday that he would be interested in making a third White House bid — but only in the "one of a million" situation in which every other 2016 candidate coalesced around him.
Romney, who has repeatedly insisted that he will not run again, made the remarks in an interview with radio show host Hugh Hewitt.
"I know this is hard for a lot of people to recognize, but frankly, I’d love to run for president. I loved running for president," Romney said. "I love the country enough to know that I’m not as good a candidate this time around as I think the other guys would be, because they’re new and not defined. I want the country to win. I do not want to see Hillary Clinton as our next president. So I stepped aside so someone who has a better shot will be able to step forward."
Hewitt repeatedly pressed Romney on the 2016 question, setting up hypotheticals where the former Massachusetts governor was the only GOP candidate who could save the country from Clinton, the Democratic front-runner. Romney ultimately acknowledged that "circumstances can change" and that he could be compelled to run.
"Someone else has a better chance than I do. And that’s what we believe, and that’s why I’m not running. And you know, circumstances can change," Romney said. "Well, you know, let’s say all the guys that were running all came together and said, 'Hey, we’ve decided we can’t do it, you must do it.' That’s the one of the million we’re thinking about."
During the interview, Romney also said his experience running national campaigns would most likely make him a stronger presidential candidate than he was in 2012. However, he maintained that a fresher face would be better for the Republican Party and offered praise for an entire slew of expected 2016 hopefuls.
"I mean, you hope you learn from your mistakes," he said, "but at the same time, there are people who are not yet known by the American public who have extraordinary records, great capability, Paul Ryan being one of them, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio. Of course, people are getting to know Chris Christie. Jeb Bush, they don’t know Jeb Bush as the governor of Florida, and the kind of record he has and had there. These are people who I think have the potential to really ignite interest in our party and potentially win the general."
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