Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won’t be casting a vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton come November.
Speaking at an awards gala for American Friends of The Hebrew University, an institute of higher education in Jerusalem, Romney maintained that he had no plans to run himself but was holding out hope for a promising independent candidate, according to the Washington Examiner.
“I’m certainly going to be hoping that we find someone who I have my confidence in who becomes nominee,” Romney told the audience, as quoted by the Examiner. “I don’t intend on supporting either of the major party candidates at this point.”
The former Massachusetts governor is one of the leading establishment figures in the GOP’s #NeverTrump movement. He has spoken out forcefully against the real estate mogul’s inflammatory rhetoric, lack of specific policy proposals and willingness to toss aside closely-held conservative principles.
Now that Trump is the presumptive nominee, Romney took a more resigned tone.
“I see way too much demagoguery and populism on both sides of the aisle and I only hope and aspire that we’ll see more greatness,” Romney said at the gala, according to the Examiner.
He reportedly mentioned House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the type of pragmatic Republican leader the party should nominate for president, but said Ryan was needed in Congress for the time being.
“This is a critical time for freedom, a critical time for America,” Romney told the audience, as quoted by the Examiner. “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,” he added.