Romney's not running... yet
December 2nd, 2010
08:27 AM ET
3 years ago

Romney's not running... yet

(CNN) – Speculation has swirled over whether Republican former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will run for president in 2012, and in a late night television appearance Wednesday he said it will be clear when and if he's throwing his hat in the ring.

"If you ever see me sign up for a gig on Fox News, it'll be a clear indication that I've decided to run for president," Romney joked on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," a reference to the five potential 2012 candidates that appear on the network. "That's not in the cards anytime soon, thanks."

Romney made a bid for the last GOP presidential nomination, and when asked what he would do differently this time around he said, "I'd get more votes than the other guy."

While he praised 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as a "remarkable, energetic, powerful figure in my party, attractive too," he also issued veiled criticism of the former Alaska governor who stepped down from her post half way through her first term.

"It's hard to imagine a circumstance where I would quit, great job. I loved it, but she had her reasons," Romney said before saying he wasn't going to speak negatively about her.

He also called former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush "remarkable people," in reference to a recent interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" where they spoke well of Romney. During the same interview Mrs. Bush said she thought Palin should "stay in Alaska."

"(We're) blessed with great first ladies, that Barbara Bush, she is one of a long line of terrific first ladies and Michelle Obama also," Romney said. "Both of them could beat you arm wrestling, Barbara Bush, you don't want to mess with her."

Leno asked him a litany of policy questions including his opinion on tax cuts, the WikiLeaks controversy and President Obama.

"He got his grade in November when people went to the polls and his agenda was not their agenda, so they voted no," Romney said. "I think it was a failing couple of years. I hope to see him move to the middle and do what's necessary to get America back."

Romney was very visible on the campaign trail in the three months leading up to the midterm elections, helping campaign for fellow Republicans, but he's been mostly out of the spotlight in the four weeks since the elections.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Jay Leno • Mitt Romney
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Herb

    Can Romney stop Bloomberg from increasing the MTA fares ??

    December 2, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    He's not running because he doesn't stand a chance of winning. His own party will throw him under the bus because he's mormon.

    December 2, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  3. FM

    I feel sorry for Romney. He can't go there and start bashing the Health Care. He can't say much about the economy as slowly things are changing to the positive side. He seems he has nothing very concrete to sell to people.

    December 2, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  4. greg in jax

    Obama is already in the middle. If he weren't, DADT would be gone and the Bush tax cuts would not even be a conversation. So just because those on the right say he is not in the middle doesn't make it true. Just ask those of us on the Left.

    December 2, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Frankly, he should not run. He isn't the right man for the job.

    December 2, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    He's the only one that has a chance of beating Obama. BUT since he belongs to a cult, flip-flops on many issues, and is too liberal for the fanatics on the right fringe (who control the party) he will not get the nomination. Instead they'll put some ideologue (Huckelberry) or some wing-nut (Newtie/Failin Palin) on and get slaughtered

    December 2, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. Lookitup

    Thanks to the Tea Party we can all have a cup of chamomile to calm our nerves before the great downfall. Thank you for helping us return the GOP to power; Government of "Pan" (latin for Panic).

    December 2, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. diridi

    good for the nation....even if he runs, this idiot will never win.....o.k...this man has no ideology of whatsoever....that's it...it is Obama that fits this nation another term....he is doing what this nation needs to do...what Reagan, and the Bush the biggest idiots in the world lack, and did not do....look, banks are robbing what, 18 percent interest...shame, since Fin. Reg. Reform, little better....we need energy and climate reform....GM, and Ford needs to produce more fuel efficient cars, with solid warranty, and cheaper price, comparable to Hyundai...o.k...so that Venezuela, and Saudi go bankrupt and they cry on these oil mongrels, also we need stricter immigration, and cuts in Medicare....o.k, For medicine, use PAs, and NPs in rural areas....good for the nation....o.k, ........

    December 2, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. Bassman

    CNN reports on anyone who will attack Sarah Palin, yet ignore compliments. CNN failed to report Mr. Romney's comments on Palin, so I will. He said " she has proven to be a "remarkable, energetic, powerful figure in my party - attractive too."

    December 2, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Geoz

    He's the candidate for the GOP. I only hope that HE (not Obama) can move to the center because he has some whacky notions in his right-wing closet.

    December 2, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. Lazlo

    Funny how every republican wants the democrats to move to the middle when the republicans have been very stubborn and unwilling to do so themselves.

    Stop the petty bickering.

    Stop arguing policy in the media, sit down together, and actually get some legislation done.

    December 2, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. andrewstl

    gop take a clue i am democrat but would consuder this guy

    he is smart and not a wing nut

    December 2, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. Dennis

    Romney is a much more viable candidate. His track record shows that he understands economic issues. This is something neither Palin or Obama have demonstrated. +

    December 2, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Anonymous

    CNN couldn't resist using Palin as a lead for the Romney story- Unblievable!
    What is it with your editor? Does he have a crush on her? Are they havig an affair?
    Romney's comment about Palin was less than 10 seconds on that show but somehow on your home page she gets mentioned from his interview once agian making her part of the lead! That's 12 of 13days now

    December 2, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. Tom

    If he (Romney) likes the idea of moving to the middle, he should try to convince his party of that. We need the democrats to do the same thing. They've been elected to get things done for America, not block, throw fits, have it their way, or any of the other methods both sides have been using.

    December 2, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Even (seemingly) Moderate Republicans Like Mitt know that in order to get the Tin Foil Hat, Tea Party Wing Nut vote, you have to be out there enough to get a job at Faux News.

    December 2, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Sharmila Kazim

    Interesting, one by one the bold Republicians are emerging and speaking up about Sarah Palin. Who knew the handsome and talented Mr. Mitt Romey had such an incredible sense of humor. Charisma is definitely a 'plus.'

    Yes, I agree, you'd get more votes than the other guys, more so Sarah Palin.

    No one wants a candidate who quit their job midway for whatever 'personal reasons' and then subsequently benefits lucratively from their popularity.
    It's inconceivable to think that Sarah Palin will be nominated by the GOP for the 2012 ticket.
    Wonder who will be her running mate, Christine O Donell? Maybe she might even tap you Mr. Romney, but we all know you're more capable of doing the job.

    December 2, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Sniffit

    Romney tells Jay Leno that there's no real news about him and that becomes the news. See how that works? Happy advertisers are well-paying advertisers.

    December 2, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. MAhole

    Mittens – you made such a mess of our state as governor that there is no way I'd ever support you for POTUS.
    I will say that what you did for health care in MA was a step in the right direction. I don't understand why your fellow Republicans are so against the so-called "Obamacare" plan when your "Romneycare" plan is very close to the same thing.
    But the fees we now pay that replaced the old "taxes" are outrageous.

    December 2, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. Sgt. Joe

    His criticism of Obama is empty. "Move to the middle"? You've got to be kidding! Obama IS already in the middle which pisses off the left. Is Romney proposing his party get back to the middle too? This middle is the only place things will ever get accomplished. The only reason the GOP got seats is that the Dems, especially those on the left didn't vote at all, again, they aren't happy with Obama's middle stance. But, it's proving to bite them all in the butt now that taxes are on the block. The stubborn GOP will stand in the way of the middle getting breaks and they do it proudly and pompously. All they want is to line the pockets of their wealthy cronies and corporate interests. A bunch of fools we are; we all deserve this kick in the butt.

    December 2, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Darryl Schmitz

    Oh god, here we go again. And again, this time around: 1) the unprincipled but smooth-taking populist politicians will easily dissuade us from listening to the ones who genuinely want to abide by the Constitution and seek solutions to our problems, 2) the media will give lots of air time to the smooth-talking populists and ignore the "boring" honest candidates, and 3) we will again gravitate to the Blue team or the Red team, ignoring the fact that they BOTH intend to violate the Constitution and bankrupt us just as surely as their predecesor was. We're screwed, and we're the ones screwing ourselves because of our stupidity and arrogance.

    December 2, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Citizen

    Finally the flip-flopper had the cojones to say what he really feels about Ms. Palin!

    December 2, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. once upon a horse

    uh ok CNN so WHERE is the "swing at Palin" or was that just the stinger to get folks to read this? We all know just put Palin's name in and you get 300 responses no matter what.

    December 2, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. CBR

    Wow, Mitt Romney now says he enjoyed being Governor of Massachusetts. He sure did not enjoy it enough to help his Lt. Governor, Kerry Healey who ran the state quite well when Romney was away, carry on for four years. Unfortunately, he was out of the office quite bit while campaigning for other Republicans. The health insurance plan he sponsored went a little haywire because there was not enough money to sustain it. His policies on education were not helpful requiring many towns to request overrides on Prop 2.

    He loved Massachusetts so much that sold his home and moved to Michigan. Once his term of office was over he did not seem to care what happened in MA.

    December 2, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. King

    What the American people know to give the president a grade. Half of the people didn't even know who won the hose much less policy making. When the president took over the country was in the first situation since the great depression. The repugs had promise to make this fail from the start. This president took a 800 million a month job lost and turned it into 11 months of job lost into 10 straight month of private sector job gains, took a health care program that was hiking the customers premiums 50 to 60 percent to only 15 percent, while adding 30 million more customers, hundreds of thousand more new jobs, and bringing down the federal budget, finance reform, credit card reform, ending war in eraq etc. Name me one thing you repug did for the American people other than voting to send more soldiers in harms way in Afghanistan, what you haven't done or supported any thing to help this country dig out of the disaster you have cause, but lessoning to fox entertainment news. With their lies, fear mongering, intolerance, and trying to block this country progress, causing fear in the economy so the people stop spending their money and crushing demand. how the country was able to overcome the great negativity you guys poor into the economy and still grew is beyond me, too bad these people are too stupid to see what really happened and what is going on.

    December 2, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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