Romney 2016: How the 3rd Time Could Be Charming

Candidate would aim to show another side of his personality
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2015 12:08 PM CST
Romney 2016: How the 3rd Time Could Be Charming
n this July 2, 2014, file photo, Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential nominee, addresses a crowd of supporters at a farm in Stratham, NH.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney has told supporters it's a matter of "weeks, not months" before he decides for sure whether to run for president again—and he "almost certainly will." One thing that's already clear is that a Mitt Romney 2016 campaign would be notably different from his 2012 effort. This time, the former governor would have three "pillars," Politico reports: a focus on fighting poverty, a new communications team, and a push to show a different side of Romney the man. "If he decides to run … I think you’ll see a campaign in which the American people get to really know Mitt Romney as a person," says a Republican donor. That means he'll need to "emote," says former Senate majority leader Trent Lott, "smiling with one eye and crying with the other."

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But some are already raising doubts, including GOP chair Reince Priebus, who has raised concerns about Romney's past stumbles. "He really has to show people that he’d do it differently, rather than just say he’d do it differently," says a former Romney adviser. The potential candidate has been speaking to a range of Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Paul Ryan, who recently announced he wouldn't run; business leaders like Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman; and media personalities like Laura Ingraham. Romney has told the potential supporters that he would aim to challenge Jeb Bush from the right, the Washington Post reports. The two will face competition for support among top Republicans; some former Romney backers are already supporting Bush. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)

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