Mitt Romney Isn't Running In 2016 After All, In An Abrupt One-Eighty

In a surprising turn of events, Mitt Romney announced that he won't run for president in 2016. First speaking to a small group of advisers via a conference call, Romney then made a second call to a larger circle of supporters, whom he told:

His statement, first revealed by conservative American radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, saw Romney detail the support he had from potential donors and Republican activists, noting that he was leading in polls. But, Romney added:

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The announcement comes as a shock for some, as the former Massachusetts governor had told supporters that he was "strongly considering" a third bid at the presidency, and took steps indicating that he was gearing up for it, such as hiring Scott Brown's former campaign manager, Colin Reed. But a potential Romney 2016 campaign irked members of the Republican party, many of whom were unconvinced of his viability as a legitimate Republican presidential contender.

His decision was also surely met with Jeb Bush's relief, as Romney was seen as a center-right candidate vying for the same group of donors and political operatives as Bush. The New York Times reported that many loyal supporters, donors and staff members were reluctant to back other potential candidates until Romney announced his plans.

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During an over four-hour meeting last week, Romney's most trusted staff and advisers from his 2012 campaign delivered a sobering perspective, according to the New York Times —though they supported and believed in him, they would not encourage a third run after finding a lack of enthusiasm and support in their political channels for a third Romney run.

The announcement indicated an end to Romney's almost decade-long pursuit of the presidency. After losing the 2008 Republican primary, Romney went on to become the party's presidential candidate in 2012, going up against President Barack Obama who ultimately won the election to a second term.

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