Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talks with members of the traveling press aboard his campaign plabe on November 6, 2012 en route to Boston, Massachusetts. The presidential race remains tight as Americans are heading to the polls to cast their ballots. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
After months of insisting he was not interested in running for president again, Mitt Romney now says he's keeping the door open.
“We’ve got a lot of people looking at the race,” the 2012 Republican nominee told the New York Times Magazine when he was asked about the possibility of seeking the nomination in 2016. “We’ll see what happens.”
Romney, who was soundly defeated by President Barack Obama in 2012, has been watching the crop of possible 2016 GOP candidates — including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, his former running mate — and what the Times calls the "lack of a clear Republican heir apparent."
But in June, Romney dismissed talk that a GOP fundraising event he hosted in Park City, Utah — attended by many of those same potential nominees — was a precursor to another presidential run for him.
"I'm not running for president," Romney said on "Meet the Press." "I brought a number of the 2016 contenders here to meet with my fundraisers. If I had been running, I wouldn't be doing that.
"Look, I want to find the best candidate for us to take our message to the American people," he added. "That we can bring better jobs, higher incomes, and more security globally. We can do that. And I'm convinced that the field of Republican candidates that I'm seeing is in a lot better position to do that than I am."
The former Massachusetts governor bowed out of his first run for president during the 2008 Republican primaries.
"You know, I'm not Ronald Reagan," Romney said in February. "And I'm not running for president. We've got some very good people who are considering the race. And I'm looking forward to supporting someone who I think will have the best shot of defeating whoever it is the Democrats put up."
According to the Times, that someone may ultimately be him:
Romney compared the barrage of 2016-related questions to a scene in the film “Dumb and Dumber.” After Jim Carrey’s character is flatly rejected by Lauren Holly, she tells him that there’s a one-in-a-million chance she would change her mind. “So,” Romney told me, embodying the character, “Jim Carrey says, ‘You’re telling me there’s a chance.’"
If he does decide to run, expect to see more of the Romney portrayed in "Mitt," the documentary about his 2012 campaign.
“One of the big frustrations a lot of us had on the campaign is that people weren’t seeing the guy we all know in private,” Ryan said. “The ‘Mitt’ documentary was a very good picture of that guy.”
Then again, Romney, still haunted by his infamous "47 percent" comment, is not necessarily ready to go unscripted.
“I was talking to one of my political advisers, and I said: ‘If I had to do this again, I’d insist that you literally had a camera on me at all times," Romney said. "I want to be reminded that this is not off the cuff.”