If Mitt Romney holds any grudge against Sheldon Adelson for funding the GOP rivals who roiled his 2012 GOP presidential primary campaign, he isn’t showing it.
The failed GOP nominee and the Las Vegas casino magnate are teaming up to see that the 2016 presidential race is not a repeat of the 2012 campaign for Republicans. Politico reports that Romney and Adelson have joined forces to convince donors to rally behind the conservative White House contenders with broad appeal and stymie the sort of long-shot candidacies that wrought havoc in 2012.
According to Politico, that could mean an early endorsement from the former Massachusetts governor.
“There’s the possibility that there might be someone who emerges strong who I agree with on a whole host of issues, and then someone else comes along who I find not as attractive from a policy standpoint or another standpoint,’ Romney told reporters Friday evening. “And at that stage I might jump in and go to work to help the one who’s more in tune with the things I believe.”
To win the support of Romney and his unlikely ally Adelson — who, according to Politico, have been speaking monthly — six GOP presidential contenders have flocked to Utah this week for a summit with some of Romney’s top political donors. Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Lindsey Graham, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and former CEO of HP Carly Fiorina were all slated to make the trek to an upscale ski lodge for the summit, which runs through Saturday.
Romney aides tell Politico he intends to stay involved in the 2016 race in the hopes of preventing some of the intra-party chaos that he believes doomed his 2012 run.
While Romney had long been regarded as the presumed GOP nominee in the 2012 race, the Republican primary dragged on as dark horse candidates like then-Rep. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and former Sen. Rick Santorum had bursts of momentum. Adelson was largely responsible for propping up the campaign of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich — who scored a surprise victory in the South Carolina primary — before falling in line behind Romney.
Romney said earlier this year he would not run for president in 2016.