Opinion: Breaking News: Mitt Romney to rejoin GOP race?


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Josh Romney, one of former Gov. Mitt Romney‘s five sons, says it’s ‘possible’ his father may rejoin the race for the White House, as a vice presidential candidate or as the Republican Party’s standard-bearer if the campaign of Sen. John McCain falters.

The 60-year-old Romney, who ‘suspended’ his campaign for the GOP nomination after a disappointing showing on Super Tuesday and a week later endorsed McCain, was taking a break from politics this weekend on a skiing vacation in Utah with his wife, Ann, according to his 32-year-old son.

The elder Romney, who was unable to assemble sufficient conservative support to thwart McCain, has made no public comment since the McCain camp was rocked ...

... by a controversial article in the New York Times last week first revealed in December in a posting on the Drudge Report.


The article, which was criticized even within journalism circles and by the newspaper’s own ombudsman for its anonymous sourcing and lack of documentation, implied that the 71-year-old presumptive Republican presidential nominee had an improper relationship with a female lobbyist and did favors for her corporate clients.

McCain and the lobbyist have unequivocally denied the charges, and numerous conservatives, once hesitant to support the more moderate senator, have flocked to his support, at least against the liberal Times.

However, subsequent published reports have contradicted some of McCain’s denials of meetings with corporate executives while he chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, and if further revelations occurred, it could raise questions about the Arizonan’s viability as the GOP nominee.

Because he suspended rather than terminated his campaign, Romney still retains control of the nearly 300 delegates he’s already won. Another former governor, Mike Huckabee, remains in the race and is nearing Romney’s delegate totals, though few give him a realistic chance of catching McCain, with more than 900 delegates.

On some Sunday morning talk shows, Huckabee maintained his belief in ‘miracles’ and said the race was not over until someone gets 1,191 votes.

After a full year of campaigning for his father around the country, Josh Romney, who is the only Romney clan member to reside in Utah, is reported to be considering a race for the House of Representatives as a Republican representing Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, a seat currently held by Democrat Jim Matheson.

In an interview with the Deseret Morning News to be published in Monday’s editions, the younger Romney acknowledges that he is considering the House race. ‘I’m pretty young,’ he says, ‘but I’ve had good experience on the campaign trail.’ He campaigned for his father all year and invested the summer visiting each of Iowa’s 99 counties.


Josh Romney said he was gauging the effect of a political life on his career as a real estate developer and on his young family: his wife, Jen, and their children Gracie, who is 5, Wyatt, 3, and Owen, 1.

He’s asked about speculation that, given the McCain troubles, his father might reenter the Republican race either as a candidate for the top spot or as the party nominee’s vice presidential partner, and Romney replies that it’s ‘possible.’ Then, he adds, ‘unlikely, but possible.’

It was the first sign from the Romney camp or family that the former Massachusetts governor’s political plans for 2008 were anything but over.

Such a move could provide a possible rallying point for conservatives, who awaited a perfect conservative candidate and held back from supporting Romney all during 2007 while the campaigns of other conservatives, including Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and Fred Thompson, collapsed.

By the time they began drifting toward Romney, McCain, whose campaign also collapsed earlier in 2007, had assembled a string of wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida and went on to win California and build a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead.

A Ticket item here Sunday noted Romney’s graceful exit from the Republican race, which was characterized by the unusual absence of a follow-up plea for donations to retire campaign debt. The Romney campaign cost $98 million, $42.3 million of it contributed by the candidate himself.

But don’t look for Josh Romney to lend his name to the McCain campaign. ‘It’s one thing to campaign for my dad, someone whose principles I line up with almost entirely,’ he told Lisa Riley Roche. ‘I can’t say the same thing for Sen. McCain.’

As of early Monday morning the Romney campaign website remained shuttered, displaying only a photo of the smiling Romney couple and a thank you message extolling the greatness of America.


-- Andrew Malcolm