By Sarah B. Boxer
During his third annual E2 Summit in Park City, Utah, this weekend, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric that the chances he would run for president again are “somewhere between zero and nil.”
However, the former GOP presidential nominee is certainly not shying away from the spotlight. E2, which stands for “Experts and Enthusiasts,” gathered a select group of politicians and donors, mostly Republican, who heard remarks from presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Carly Fiorina, as well as Govs. John Kasich, Chris Christie and Scott Walker, who have yet to announce their intentions.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was one of the only Republican frontrunners who did not attend the retreat. He was on a three-country tour of Europe at the time.
Romney said he took no offense at Bush’s absence. “I think it’s important from time to time to do exactly what he’s doing, which is to visit other nations in the world, to understand what they think about America.”
Bush’s campaign team underwent a recent shakeup when Danny Diaz replaced Dave Kochel as campaign manager. Kochel ran Romney’s 2012 campaign in Iowa and was a trusted aide to the former governor.
However, Romney dismissed the notion that Kochel’s demotion was a major problem for the Bush campaign.
“A lot of attention is paid by very few of us, who really follow politics, to each little move,” he said. “But to the American people, they’re not looking at this yet. And frankly, they don’t care who’s a campaign chairman and who’s a campaign manager and so forth.”
Romney told Couric he did not plan to endorse anyone in the primary process, though he spoke particularly effusively about Bush, Rubio and Walker.
“Are you sorry you’re not in the pack?” Couric asked.
“Oh, I’d love to do it,” Romney smiled. “But I came to the conclusion that our party and our nation would be best served if the next political generation stepped in instead of the guy who ran before.”