Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential nominee, is sitting out this year’s Republican National Convention where presumptive nominee Donald Trump will be chosen. Romney has called Trump a "phony" and "fraud" in the past. Last night, Romney said he is "dismayed at where we are now," and denounced what he called "way too much demagoguery and populism on both sides of the aisle." Romney said he hopes Americans will "see more greatness."
But he will not run for president. "I think it happens to be an inflection point in our history as we go through this dramatic change economically and militarily, socially, all those things … And I happen to think that the person who is leading the nation has an enormous and disproportionate impact on the course of the world, so I am dismayed at where we are now, I wish we had better choices, and I keep hoping that somehow things will get better, and I just don't see an easy answer from where we are," Romney said.
Romney praised House Speaker Paul Ryan, who just yesterday said that he is not ready to endorse Trump quite yet. "He's got all these people working together, and it's absolutely remarkable," Romney said. However, Trump said today that he expects to meet Ryan next week to do some fence-mending. “And he is where he needs to be. I'd love to see him run for president, but having a speaker of the House, at this stage, where we don't know what's going to happen on the presidential race, having a speaker of the House with that kind of leadership capacity is very encouraging. I have hopes that he'll remain speaker."
In March, Romney came out swinging when he made a speech denouncing Trump and told the Boston Globe he would not vote for Trump even if he won the GOP nomination.
In addition to Romney, Sen. John McCain – who is running a reelection campaign that he could lose – is also sitting out the convention. He joins the only two living Republican presidents — George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — who also declared this week they will also absent themselves from the convention this summer.
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