Is Mitt Romney for real – Politico
SAN DIEGO — Mitt Romney, in a campaign-style speech Friday night to Republican Party brass, confirmed his interest in a third White House run, outlining a three-plank platform and pointedly attacking presumed Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Introduced by his wife, Ann, Romney took to the deck of the U.S.S. Midway and was greeted with a standing ovation from members of the Republican National Committee gathered here for a party conference. “Me, I’m giving some serious consideration to the future,” he told them.
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In the 15-minute speech, he sounded very much like a potential contender, laying out a vision of where he said the Republican Party should go as it looks to toward the 2016 election. In 2012 his detractors dismissed Romney as the candidate of the “1 percent”; on Friday, he said the GOP needs to focus on closing the income gap between rich and poor Americans and lifting people out of poverty.
“Under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before,” Romney said.
Ticking off a laundry list of overseas crises, Romney went on to call for a muscular approach to foreign policy while delivering a sharp critique of Clinton, the former secretary of state.
“The results of the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama foreign policy have been devastating,” he said. “This has not been a good time for American foreign policy.”
His remarks came amid mounting speculation that he’s laying the groundwork for another presidential campaign. Romney recently told a group of donors that he is considering a bid, and he’s been making phone calls to political players in early primary states.
At one point, he teased the audience about his ambition. “Now there’s been some speculation that I’m about to embark on another political campaign for which I have been previously unsuccessful. Let me state unequivocally that I have no intentions of running for U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.” Romney lost to Ted Kennedy in the 1994 Massachusetts Senate race.
Romney also quipped that his wife “believes you get better with experience. And heaven knows I have experience running for president.”
His appearance, scheduled only a few days earlier, came on the tail end of the three-day Republican party conference. Many party officials have openly expressed concern about a third presidential campaign by Romney, saying that it’s time for the party to turn to a new candidate. Others said they were surprised that the former Massachusetts governor, who resides in nearby La Jolla, had decided to address them.
In a Thursday night speech at the RNC meeting, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, another potential 2016 candidate, offered an implicit critique of Romney, saying he would offer “fresh, new ideas.”
Still, many of the party officials were curious enough about Romney to make the 15-minute trek from Coronado, where the RNC meeting was being held, to San Diego, where the Midway is docked.