No one wanted to be president less than Mitt Romney, said his son in an interview Sunday that raises new questions about the candidacy of the losing Republican nominee.
In an interview with the Boston Globe examining what went wrong with the Romney campaign, his eldest son Tagg explains that his father had been a reluctant candidate from the start.
After failing to win the 2008 Republican nomination, the elder Mr. Romney told his family he would not run again and had to be persuaded to enter the 2012 White House race by his wife Ann and son Tagg.
“He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire … to run,” Tagg Romney said. “If he could have found someone else to take his place … he would have been ecstatic to step aside.”
Mitt Romney “is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them. He loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention,” his son said.
Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and wealthy businessman, has been widely criticized for blaming his loss in the Nov. 6 election on President Barack Obama’s “gifts” to Latinos, women and the poor.
“What the president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote,” Mr. Romney said during a call with campaign donors in mid-November.
The Boston Globe story highlighted the decision to downplay Mr. Romney’s biography in favour of going after Mr. Obama and the flagging U.S. economy.
Campaign strategists feared that highlighting Mr. Romney’s biography would open the Mormon candidate up more to personal attacks that he was wealthy, out-of-touch and belonged to a minority faith.