Washington (CNN) – A prime seat at the Super Bowl. A flattering documentary. A funny turn on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” No doubt about it: Mitt Romney has been back in the spotlight recently. But does it all add up to him making a third run for the Republican presidential nomination?
No, according to multiple sources close to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
While the ex-candidate is clearly enjoying all the good karma - which comes amid a bad month for Chris Christie —sources close to Romney say the nascent draft-Mitt idea, such as it is, is organic and not coming from him or his wife, Ann, or anyone close to them.
In fact, the chatter is coming from some Republican donors who understand how much money it will take for a GOP candidate to compete against the presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, if she does run.
If Christie’s troubles continue, and former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush decides not to run, the theory is that Romney could, perhaps, become attractive.
He’s been seen in a more attractive light lately with the Netflix documentary “Mitt.” But sources close to the Romneys say Ann Romney and the family aren’t likely to want to go through a campaign again.
Romney told CNN last June he would not enter the fray again.
“It was hard work. I said it was like a roller coaster. Yes, there are ups and down. But, but you still pay to get on the roller coaster. It’s a real thrill and experience that we will never forget. And frankly, I’d do it again.”
But when asked that he would, Romney explained: “I would do it again, but it’s not my time. Ann might not … but I would love to do it again, are you kidding? I’d love to do it and win. But it’s not my time. I’ve had my chance.”
In fact, Romney’s generational handover would probably go to Rep. Paul Ryan, his former running mate. Romney often points to Ryan as an example of a legislator who can get things done. And, don’t forget, he hired him as his “junior partner” in the campaign.
And while the ex-Romneyites don’t want to comment on the record, one source says that while a new campaign isn’t happening, all this chatter “must make him feel good.”
– CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this story