By Brandon Reid
Senior Assistant Editor
Mitt Romney has announced he will not seek the Republican Party nomination for president in the 2016 election.
Romney, the Republican nominee in 2012, had considered another run at the White House, but told backers Jan. 30 that “After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”
Romney’s decision not to run clears the path for other possible candidates, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush said following Romney’s announcement: “Though I’m sure today’s decision was not easy, I know that Mitt Romney will never stop advocating for renewing America’s promise through upward mobility, encouraging free enterprise and strengthening our national defense. Mitt is a patriot, and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over.”
Romney was the Republican Party nominee for president in 2012. He and his running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, were defeated by the incumbent Democratic ticket of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden 51-47 percent in the popular vote and 332-206 in the electoral college vote.
In his Jan. 30 remarks to his backers, Romney noted, “I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee.”
In addition to Bush, other potential Republican candidates for 2016 include Ben Carson, author and retired director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; former New York Gov. George Pataki; and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Others who have expressed interest in seeking the Republican nomination include former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota; former U.N. ambassador John R. Bolton; U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich; former business executive and nominee for the U.S. Senate in California Carly Fiorina; former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-New York; former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin; U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky; Indiana Gov. Mike Pence; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida; former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania; and Donald Trump.
Democrats considering a run include former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Virginia; Vice President Joe Biden; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Illinois; former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell; U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont; and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Other potential candidates include U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin; Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; George Clooney; New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota; New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan; U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota; former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon; U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire; and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia.
Posted Jan. 30, 2015