Romney to GOP donors: ‘I wish to be president.’

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Mitt Romney forcefully announced his seductiveness in a third presidential run to a room full of absolute Republican donors Friday, disrupting a liquid 2016 GOP margin as would-be opposition Jeb Bush was relocating quickly to connect investiture support.

Romney, a 2012 Republican nominee, has been mulling another campaign for several months, though his comments Friday noted a transparent step brazen in his meditative and come amid ascent tensions between a Romney and Bush camps.

“I wish to be president,” Romney told about 30 donors in New York. He pronounced that his wife, Ann — who final tumble pronounced she was emphatically opposite a run — had altered her mind and was now “very encouraging,” nonetheless their 5 sons sojourn split, according to mixed attendees.

Advisers pronounced Romney discussed a foe with his family over a holidays, when they spent time skiing in Park City, Utah, though he insisted that he has not done adult his mind either to run. Advisers pronounced he recognizes that he would not be means to strut into a assignment and that a intra-party foe is moulding adult to be stiffer in subsequent year’s primaries than it was in 2012.

Bush’s remarkable concentration on a foe in new weeks has put vigour on Romney to confirm soon. Romney has been in unchanging conversations with vital donors, some of whom are pulling him to run again, though confidants have also warned him that his window of eventuality could tighten if he does not announce his intentions within 30 to 60 days.

Romney’s comments during Friday’s meeting, initial reported by the Wall Street Journal, electrified a universe of Republican financiers, who are being courted aggressively by Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and other hopefuls. Romney’s dalliance could solidify adequate donors to spoil Bush’s devise to post an intimidatingly outrageous first-quarter fundraising transport this spring.

“What he has pronounced to me before is, ‘I am preserving my options.’ What he is now observant is, ‘I am severely deliberation a run,’ ” pronounced Bobbie Kilberg, a tip donor from Virginia who lifted millions of dollars for Romney’s 2012 bid. She was briefed by attendees on Romney’s Friday comments. “And he pronounced that in a room with 30 people. That is a opposite grade of intensity.”

Striving to keep his network intact, Romney on Friday also e-mailed his donors with invitations to his fourth annual process limit in Park City, scheduled for Jun 11-13. Called a E2 Summit, a eventuality is billed as an “intimate” entertainment of Wall Street titans, politicos and former supervision officials.

Romney’s associates pronounced that he has turn nervous given surrender to President Obama on a cold night in Boston dual years ago. Romney’s proclivity to run again stems from a slow restlessness with Obama’s policies, both mercantile and foreign, and a faith that he would have set a nation on a improved course.

Romney also harbors doubts that Bush and other Republican contenders can better expected Democratic claimant Hillary Rodham Clinton, advisers said, and is heedful in sold about Bush’s domestic skills.

“I trust Mitt Romney is too most of a loyalist to lay on a sidelines and concur a presidency to Hillary Clinton or [Massachusetts Sen.] Elizabeth Warren when he knows that he can repair a country,” pronounced Spencer Zwick, Romney’s 2012 inhabitant financial chairman, who accompanied Romney to Friday’s New York meeting.

“I think, during a finish of a day, he believes he could indeed make a difference,” Zwick said. “He won’t make a preference to run for boss formed on who else is in a race. He will make a preference formed on his possess enterprise and his possess abilities.”

Romney’s advisers pronounced he is coming a preference pragmatically. “He does not go into things looking by rose-
colored glasses,” pronounced one Romney confidant who spoke on condition of anonymity to speak candidly.

This confidant pronounced Romney is distant from carrying his mind done up: “He knows he’ll have to acquire it, and he believes in that; that a presidency is too critical to palm it over to somebody. He doesn’t speak like that during all. He wants to go out and make his box to a American people and see what happens. But he’s not that far.”

One evident jump Romney would face is that many of a distinguished donors that corroborated his final campaign, as good as some comparison operatives who worked for him before, have already been scooped adult by Bush or other candidates. GOP counsel Charlie Spies, who co-founded a pro-Romney super PAC Restore a Future, is now representing Bush’s care committee, a Right to Rise PAC, as good as a pro-Bush super PAC of a same name.

Some Republicans have neatly criticized him given 2012 over his missteps on a debate route and his final opening — he mislaid each pitch state solely North Carolina and finished with 206 electoral votes to Obama’s 332. Democrats successfully expel him as out of hold with a center category after he was held on video revelation rich donors that 47 percent of Americans do not take personal shortcoming for their lives.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), a 2016 presidential hopeful, assailed Romney shortly after a 2012 election: “We have to stop dividing a American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of a votes, not 53 percent.” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), also eyeing a 2016 run, wrote in his 2013 book that Romney did a “lousy job” articulate about a economy “in a approach that is applicable to people’s lives.”

Friday’s stipulation of seductiveness by Romney, a former Massachusetts administrator and businessman, was not welcomed by all of his former allies — generally those tighten to a Bush family.

“Frankly, he has been bypassed by Jeb,” pronounced Doug Gross, Romney’s 2008 Iowa debate authority and longtime Bush ally. “The time for Governor Romney has substantially passed. He has already mislaid twice. The jury is really most out on either Republican electorate would go with him again.”

Romney’s attribute with Bush’s circuit has developed from comfortable to stretched in new months. Bush’s arch domestic strategist is Mike Murphy, who also is tighten to Romney and suggested his successful 2002 gubernatorial campaign. Last year, Murphy helped Romney on TV ads for a U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sharpened on a California set that gimlet some-more than a flitting similarity to a Oval Office.

But as Bush has ramped adult his possess efforts, Romney’s coziness with Murphy has dissipated. They final met shortly before Christmas, when Romney asked Murphy about preparations for Bush’s debate and told Murphy he had not ruled out a bid of his own, according to Romney backers with believe of a conversation.

Romney has been articulate frequently with Stuart Stevens, his tip 2012 strategist and a Murphy rival, while gripping a sharp eye on Bush’s moves to woo Romney’s former supporters. On Friday, Bush was in Boston, Romney’s home bottom where he headquartered his past campaigns, perplexing to convince Romney donors to get behind his effort.

Veteran GOP consultant Ed Rollins said, “Romney knows that he can retard donors from going to Bush if he sends a transparent adequate message.”

“If we put Romney and Bush conduct to head, we consider Romney substantially wins that fight,” Rollins said. “Nobody is indiscriminate walking divided from him. The donor bottom and operatives are still there. Bush suspicion he’d have an open margin to simply kick Christie. Romney, if he gets in, changes that plan.”

On Wednesday, Romney lectured during Stanford University in a category patrician “Understanding a 2016 Campaign from Start to Finish,” that is taught by his former process director, Lanhee Chen. Romney after had cooking in Menlo Park, Calif., with Chen, former mouthpiece Andrea Saul and former debate lawyers Ben Ginsberg and Katie Biber Chen.

Romney has remained tighten to such energy brokers as New York Jets owners Woody Johnson, a Republican fundraiser who co-chaired Romney’s 2012 debate and who attended Friday’s meeting.

“When we walked into Woody’s box a few weeks ago, Romney was sitting there in a turtleneck,” removed former New Jersey administrator Tom Kean. “He was in good spirits.”

Dan Balz contributed to this report.

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