Romney announces he will not run for president in 2016

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from FoxNews,

Mitt Romney announced Friday he will not run for president in 2016, after briefly flirting with a third White House run — a decision that only slightly narrows the crowded field of potential Republican candidates.

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it’s best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney told donors on a conference call Friday morning.

The announcement comes after the 2012 GOP nominee, who repeatedly denied interest in another campaign, surprised donors earlier this month by telling them he was considering it.

The two heavyweights (Romney & Bush) were seen as competing for many of the same donors, supporters and strategists. And some doubted whether Romney, who lost to President Obama in 2012 after a campaign in which Democrats cast him as out-of-touch, would be able to connect on a third run — even as early polls showed him leading the GOP field.

Romney, in a written statement which he also read from on his conference call, said he believes that he could win the nomination, and that he would have enough funding and support.

“The reaction of Republican voters across the country was both surprising and heartening,” he said in the statement. At the same time, Romney said it would have been a “difficult test and a hard fight,” and it’s time for a new voice.

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee,” Romney said. “In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

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