Romney Reveals Reluctance to Run

The Huffington Post has some excerpts from a new book called Collision 2012 by Dan Balz, all about the 2012 presidential election. The excerpt reveals that the Romney family in 2010 took a vote on whether he should run for president again and the vote was 10-2 against it — with Mitt being one of the no votes.

“Mitt Romney had other reasons to think that not running might be the wiser choice. Winning as a moderate from Massachusetts who happened to be Mormon was always going to be difficult. “A lot of the thinking on the part of my brothers and dad was, ‘I’m not sure I can win a primary given those dynamics.’” Tagg Romney said. The prospective candidate also knew the sheer physical and family toll another campaign would take. “He’s a private person and, push comes to shove, he wants to spend time with his family and enjoy his time with them,” his son said. “Even up until the day before he made the announcement, he was looking for excuses to get out of it. If there had been someone who he thought would have made a better president than he, he would gladly have stepped aside.” …

In an interview with Balz that’s placed at the very end of “Collision 2012,” Romney explained that he ultimately decided to run when he saw the other (leaving-something-to-be-desired) candidates in the GOP field.

“I didn’t think that any one of them had a good chance of defeating the president,” he told Balz, “and in some cases I thought that they lacked the experience and perspective necessary to do what was essential to get the country on track.”

I get so tired of this “if someone else had stepped up I would not have run, but no one did and I’m just so selfless that I reluctantly decided to do it” nonsense. Donald Trump is using a similar line now about 2016. Do they not realize how unbelievably arrogant that sounds? “No one anywhere near as good as me is in the race, so I am forced by my sheer brilliance to do it. The nation needs me.” Jesus, get over yourself.

44 comments on this post.
  1. Modusoperandi:

    Look, he really didn’t want to run. Think what that meant at the time: he’d have to abandon all the firmly held beliefs he pretended to have and take up a whole new set of deeply held pretend beliefs.
    Plus, without highly leveraged controlling interest in the country he’d have a hard time getting the board to take on crippling loans, pay himself (and the board) bonuses and dividends out of that new debt, raid the employee’s retirement pool (declaring it as revenue and paying himself and the investors dividends from it), take the country public and walk away richer no matter how badly the above actions hollowed out the country.

  2. jaxkayaker:

    At leasr in Romney’s case, it’s believable. Especially in comparison to the field of candidates present. Trump, not so much.

  3. jamessweet:

    I agree that it’s arrogant — but if we assume that Romney really did passionately want to see a semi-competent GOP presidential candidate with an actual shot at winning, his logic is at least plausible. I mean, he’s not the only Republican to look at the 2012 field and say, “THIS is all we’ve got?!?”

    It’s quite possible he didn’t really want to run, and then seeing the field crowded with Bachmanns and Perrys and Cains, decided to do it for the good of the party. I mean, it’s PROBABLY a lie, but in his case (unlike in Trump’s), he’d actually be kinda sorta right.

  4. raven:

    Romney probably decided that the American public wasn’t ready for a Reptilian-human hybrid shapeshifter nonxian.

    He was right but not by much. He still got 47% of the vote.

  5. Zeno:

    I guess all that nonstop campaigning after the 2008 election was just camouflage to disguise how deeply he didn’t want to run for president.

  6. doublereed:

    Oh come on. Who goes through 2+ years of campaigning because they don’t want to run. Who seriously buys this crap?

  7. Chiroptera:

    What was he talking about? There already was an extremely competent conservative running…you know what I’m going to say…Obama!

  8. Larry:

    I believe him. From what I’ve heard, the Romney CyberBot 2010 model still had some serious bugs needing to be squashed. Over the next 2 years, engineers worked day and night, releasing the 2012 model just before the first GOP debates. They were mostly successful but they never were able to find the bug that prevented their mechanical pal who’s fun to be with exit the Entitled Asshole® mode.

  9. reverendrodney:

    I believe he wanted to be president. But I am astonished that, after his wife said that they got by through occasionally selling stocks (or bonds or whatever), his vulture capitalist history, and his often-proved total disdain for the working class, more than 1% of the population voted for him. But then, the other 46% hated blacks and Democrats enough to not care.

  10. rabokarabekian:

    Romney still ran because he assumed that poll was skewed too.

  11. John Pieret:

    Romney … selfless …

    Ken ham … only interested in “true science” …

    Catholic heirarchy … only interested in the welbeing of children …

    Wingnuts … only intersted in loving gays …

    Damn … how can I tell which is lying?

  12. daved:

    I agree that MItt had every intention of running. But with the benefit of hindsight, can we say that there were any other Republican candidates who would have done better than Mitt against Obama? Newt is the only one I can think of who might have done OK, despite all his negatives. I just looked over the field, and I can’t see anyone else who would have had a good shot.

  13. Pierce R. Butler:

    … the vote was 10-2 against it …

    But the motion carried.

    Huh?

    Who chez Romney has the clout to prevail against both >83% of the vote and the express wishes of the divinely appointed patriarch?

  14. Jordan Genso:

    If that explanation was true, Mitt would’ve decided not to run (or dropped out of the race) and give his support to Jon Huntsman, who was a much more reasonable candidate.

  15. Modusoperandi:

    rabokarabekian “Romney still ran because he assumed that poll was skewed too.”
    +1 internet.
     
    Pierce R. Butler “… the vote was 10-2 against it …But the motion carried. Huh?”
    Sure. There would have been way more family votes for him except that the New Black Panthers scared them away. Plus, little Acorn Romney voted, like, seventy times.
     
    “Who chez Romney has the clout to prevail against both >83% of the vote and the express wishes of the divinely appointed patriarch?”
    It’s a thing called “Democracy”. Look it up, commie.

  16. wyst:

    @12 – I thought Jon Huntsman had an excellent chance of winning. Middle of the road conservative, excellent record of public service, all without the raw crazy baggage that the rest of the field had. He was exactly the kind of candidate that the GOP should have nominated, and given the abysmal state of the economy (doesn’t matter if Obama is responsible, he gets the blame), it should have been a cake walk. He never came close to winning any primary, given the hold the far-far right has on the process.

    That the GOP lost the election is still amazing to me.

    In perspective, much the same could be said for the Nixon vs McGovern campaign, and in the end the Democrats came back (but it took almost 20 years).

  17. blorf:

    We need to push this meme out there: Romney says he should not have run, he didn’t want to and it was so bad for him. Learn from his mistakes, if only the bat-shit wing of the GOP will run, sit back and let them!

    Can you imagine what the primaries would have looked like without Rmoney?

  18. Michael Heath:

    wyst writes:

    I thought Jon Huntsman had an excellent chance of winning. [...] and given the abysmal state of the economy (doesn’t matter if Obama is responsible, he gets the blame), it should have been a cake walk.

    [...]

    That the GOP lost the election is still amazing to me.

    Your surprise your expected outcome wasn’t even close is because a key premise of yours is wrong.

    Only the wingnuts blamed a weak economy on President Obama. The president’s re-election was not only not a surprise to those of us who follow the polling, his odds were always in the high-60%’s, slightly lower than a typical presidential incumbent which runs around 73%. That drop in probability for the ’12 race relative to past races was due to a weak economy, but one where the majority [rightly] blamed it on people and organizations other than President Obama or the Democrats.

  19. CaitieCat:

    Well, and let’s be honest, too: there was just 47% of the country who were never going to vote for a Black man, especially a homofascist Islamist Muslin like Obama. Obama was just never going to get their votes. They’re too addicted to having government be by someone just like them, who gives out the freebies like unnecessary military bases and unwanted defence contracts for equipment the military doesn’t want or need, who’s pandering to their need to control women’s bodies, and were just never going to vote for Obama.

    Didn’t some famous guy say something like that once?

  20. jamessweet:

    I agree that MItt had every intention of running. But with the benefit of hindsight, can we say that there were any other Republican candidates who would have done better than Mitt against Obama? Newt is the only one I can think of who might have done OK, despite all his negatives. I just looked over the field, and I can’t see anyone else who would have had a good shot.

    Perry might have done alright, if he could avoid any more “Oops” moments. He’s got that “presidential” look to him (i.e. easy-going good-looking wise old white man), he doesn’t come off as unhinged like Bachmann or unserious like Cain, he has the good sense to keep his more radical positions couched in dog whistle language or confined to appropriate audiences (unlike Santorum), he didn’t have obvious liabilities like Gingrich. He may have been kinda stupid, but he didn’t seem stupid most of the time (except during Oopsgate, of course)…

    Don’t get me wrong, he would have made an awful president, even worse than Romney would have. But he might have given Obama a run for his money in the election.

  21. Modusoperandi:

    jamessweet “But he might have given Obama a run for his money in the election.”
    Naw. I thought so too at first(*1). Then he spoke(*2)(*3).
     
    *1. “A manly, brush-clearin’ every man who America would like to have a beer with? Oh, shit.” I said to no one in particular.
    *2. “That man is dull. Not ‘uninteristing’ dull, but ‘dull’ dull. Whew.” I whewed, wiping my brow.
    *3. Except for that time he spoke for immigrants. That was almost moving. Needless to say, it cost him more with the GOP Base than any anti-government “Oops” could.

  22. dan4:

    @7: How, exactly, did Obama run as a “conservative?”

  23. gshelley:

    apparently “moderate” translates these days as “not insane”

  24. slc1:

    Re wyst @ #16

    I would agree that Huntsman might have made a better showing in the election then Rmoney. Unfortunately for him, he came across as sane and unwilling to pander to the whackjobs in the tea party. He never stood a chance of winning the nomination.

  25. Raging Bee:

    The vote was 10-2 against him running, bur he ran anyway? That shows us how much respect he has for the democratic process. And for the rest of his family.

    Did he promise beforehand that he would abide by the majority vote?

    If he didn’t want to run, he wouldn’t have run. Simple as that. He’s just as bad at faking modesty as he is at faking everything else. Does he even have one sincere brain or nerve cell in his body?

  26. aaronbaker:

    I agree that Romney’s argument has some plausibility, given the memorable awfulness of the other Republican candidates. I also agree there was already an excellent conservative candidate running; among the more demented features of the Republican base these days is their quite bizarre belief that Obama is some sort of lefty.

    Whatever his motives, I’m glad Romney ran. Because of his political ineptitude, he laid out more plainly than usual the plutocratic sociopathy of the American Right. Seeing him day after day, mendacious, heartless, and utterly self-satisfied, I felt an anger and a hatred of a kind I think I’m going to need for the next fight, and the next, and the next after that. These bastards will never give up until they’ve dismantled every protection the weak and marginalized have–they must be defeated, and defeated repeatedly, as I see no hope of making them disappear. Thus our need of a good deal of righteous anger (and, yes, hatred) for that very long slog.

  27. John Phillips, FCD:

    Dan4 apart from not defending DOMA and repealing DADT, important as they were, name one major policy that Obama or the Democrats have passed or even seriously proposed that wasn’t originally mooted by Rapeublicans or conservative think tanks.

  28. Pierce R. Butler:

    John Phillips, FCD @ # 27 – Except for that weird & unsuccessful anti-morning-after-pill tarfu, Obama has maintained a much stronger pro-choice record than any Repub I can think of.

    I may be able to name another exception to your premise, but please don’t hold your breath while I work on that…

  29. grumpyoldfart:

    That comes straight out of the “procedures manual” for political candidates who don’t get what they want. It’s item #47 I think.

    Item #48 covers times when somebody has threatened to release your shit file to the public. You’ve probably heard it before: “I have decided to leave politics and spend more time with my family.”

  30. d.c.wilson:

    What a load of bullshit.

    Well, okay. I can see how Romney didn’t want to run for president. Running for office involves talking to lots of people, sometimes even shaking hands with them! Sometimes, you have to even acknowledge the existence of working class people and treat them like their opinions and concerns matter!

    What he wanted was the power and prestige that went with being president without having to do any of the demeaning activities involved in running for it.

  31. CaitieCat:

    True. I expect he was really peeved to discover he couldn’t just get his undocumented gardener to do it for him, like Romney’s used to “experiencing” the uncomfortable things in life.

    “Juan? After you finish mowing the lawn, would you run down to the post office and sign yourself up for the campaign for President? Let me know when you’re done.

    “Whaddayamean, ‘no immigrants’? What does that first word mean, the one starting with N? I’m not sure I’ve heard that one before.”

  32. dan4:

    @27 I’ll give you three instead of one. a. Mandated waiting periods for gun purchases. b. the opposition to waterboarding. c. the closing of Guatanamo Bay. The notion that Obama is a “conservative” is “a quite bizarre belief” (thank you aaron baker @26).

  33. jnorris:

    I am impressed with Gov Romney’s courage given that half of the GOP candidates where personally chosen by Jesus Himself.

  34. John Phillips, FCD:

    Dan4, I’ll give you them, sort of. Though he failed on even the most basic and simple of gun control measures. Though I don’t blame him for that, see the end. He stopped waterboarding, whoop de doo, which by the way even McCain disowned at one time, so wasn’t that big a deal then, politically that is. But he obviously didn’t consider Guantanamo worth risking political capital on so that one is moot. Wow, one out of three. Today, as far as crimes against humanity are concerned, Obama and co is as guilty as Bushco was. He has also continued and markedly increased the surveillance state.

    Unfortunately, the overton window has shifted so far to the right in your country that you can claim that a centre right candidate with the very odd rare touch of centre left, I.e. Obama, is not conservative. Hell, that crook Nixon was more left wing than Obama in many ways. BTW, gun control, depending on which measures are being discussed, e.g. especially background checks, is no longer a non-conservative position considering that almost as many conservatives as non-conservatives support it. It failed because the nutters are now running the GOPasylum.

  35. Rip Steakface:

    First thing Obama did as president was sign an executive order closing Guantanamo. Congress refuses to fund its closure.

  36. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :):

    Romney Reveals Reluctance to Run

    So he got from position to position with cartwheels?

  37. dingojack:

    Politicians don’t cartwheel, they backflip..
    Dingo

  38. Nemo:

    Apart from Hunstman, they really were all worse than Romney. How horrifying is that?

  39. Christoph Burschka:

    Jesus, get over yourself.

    What, is he running too? I guess as far as the GOP are concerned, that’s just cutting out the middleman.

  40. Al Dente:

    I agree with d. c. wilson. Romney didn’t want to run for president, he just wanted to be president. It would have made him quite happy to sit in the Oval Office, thinking up ways to screw the 47% he so obviously despised. It was all the trouble and effort getting elected that he didn’t like.

  41. aaronbaker:

    The funniest comment on this brand of politician-speak came in response to Dr. Laura’s sudden departure from her show:

    Dr. Laura announces retirement to spend more time with the N-Word.

  42. John Phillips, FCD:

    Rip, and how much political capital has he spent on it after that.

  43. John Phillips, FCD:

    NOTE, I am not saying that the alternatives would have been better, but seeing Obama routinely ignore your constitution and international law, just ‘to get along’ and to ‘look to the future’, has been sickening for many of us.

  44. aluchko:

    “I get so tired of this “if someone else had stepped up I would not have run, but no one did and I’m just so selfless that I reluctantly decided to do it” nonsense. Donald Trump is using a similar line now about 2016. Do they not realize how unbelievably arrogant that sounds? “No one anywhere near as good as me is in the race, so I am forced by my sheer brilliance to do it. The nation needs me.” Jesus, get over yourself.”

    Do you remember the 2012 Republican field? There were three people in that field who were remotely competent to do the job, Romney, Huntsman, and Gingrich. And Huntsman didn’t have a chance of winning while Gingrich… was well Gingrich.

    It wasn’t impossible for one of those yahoos to win the general, and if that happened they could have caused some real damage. Sad to say that the nation really did need him, if Romney became president the results would have been bad, but if one of the others one it would have been apocalyptic.

Leave a comment

You must be