With Friday’s news that Romney told a group of donors he was now actively considering a third presidential bid in 2016, it appears the boosters have gotten through. “Everybody in here can go tell your friends that I’m considering a run,” the former candidate told the gathering in midtown Manhattan, according to Politico. But insiders who spoke to BuzzFeed News about Romney’s evolution on the 2016 question said he only began to entertain the possibility recently, and that he still needs to weigh a number of factors — including Jeb Bush’s electability — before he decides to take the plunge.
According to one former adviser, the biggest political question Romney will be considering as he makes his decision is whether Bush will be able to make it to the general election.
“Look, Jeb’s a good guy. I think the governor likes Jeb,” the adviser said. “But Jeb is Common Core, Jeb is immigration, Jeb has been talking about raising taxes recently. Can you imagine Jeb trying to get through a Republican primary? Can you imagine what Ted Cruz is going to do to Jeb Bush? I mean, that’s going to be ugly.”
The adviser added that aside from Bush, Romney doesn’t believe any of the Republicans in the field are ready to take on Hillary Clinton in the general election.
“He’s not going to be intimidated by Bill Clinton sitting in the front row of a debate, looking at him,” the adviser said of Romney. “His dad has run for president. He’s run before.”