Failed 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said there's "no question" he'd make a better president than Hillary Clinton, but that's not good enough reason to run again in 2016.
"I've spoken at this time and time again," said Romney on Fox News Sunday. "I'm not running. I'm not planning on running. I'm going to be helping the person who takes the banner for us."
Pressing Romney, host Chris Wallace asked, "In your heart, do you still think you’d make the best president of all the people out there?”
“My time has come and gone,” the former Massachusetts governor said, adding, “I had that opportunity. I ran and didn’t win and now it’s time for someone else to pick up the baton.”
But when Wallace asked Romney to compare himself to Hillary Clinton, questioning whether he would make a better president, Romney was quick to answer in the affirmative.
"No question about that in my mind," said Romney.
"The American people may disagree with me," Romney explained, "But, look, you've got to get this economy going. You have to have people who understand what it takes to create jobs and to help people come out of poverty, to help the middle class to have a better and prosperous future. You've got to have that understanding."
Romney suggested Clinton lacks the qualifications for the job.
"You've also got to have people who've actually run something," he said. "The government of the United States is the largest enterprise in the world. You watched a president who just doesn't understand how to make an administration work, how to interact with Congress, how to get things done. You have to have those things. I don't think Hillary Clinton has that experience."
Clinton, a former secretary of state, senator, and first lady, may have more domestic and foreign experience than most presidential candidates in recent memory.
But Romney's insistence on not running again is met with mixed messages by those in the GOP. Last month, Paul Ryan said he thought Romney should run again in 2016. And some polling data suggests Romney could do well.
Even Romney seemed to flirt with the possibility that he could run again when he corrected himself from "not running" to "not planning on running" in addition to a hint of envy. (emphasis added).
"There are other good people who I'm sure will be able to lead the country in the future. I wish it were me," he said Sunday. "It was a great experience running for president. I loved that. But my time has...come and gone. I had that opportunity. I ran, I didn't win. And now, it's time for someone else to pick up the baton."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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