Opinion: Romney’s out, so who’s next?


Jennifer Hutchinson is a sophomore political science major. Contact her at [email protected]

Jennifer Hutchinson

After three weeks of deliberation, Mitt Romney officially decided to drop out of the 2016 presidential race. While believing that he would still win the Republican nomination, Romney came to the decision after determining it would be a difficult test and hard fight defeating potential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“Ultimately, running for president, you just have to feel right about it in your heart” senior advisor of Romney’s, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “they just didn’t feel it was right.”

Romney claims he wants to step aside to let this generation’s nominees step in. This will spare disputes between Romney and other presidential hopefuls, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The two already had a shaky relationship, as Bush was next in line behind Romney for the nomination. He had already started an aggressive campaign, honing in on Romney’s supporters and donors from 2012, as well as hiring David Kochel, who was a top strategist in Iowa and advisor to Romney as one of his campaign managers.

Romney made a subtle jab at Bush saying, “I believe that one of our next-generation 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. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

So with Romney out of the race, who’s up next?  Romney said the GOP needs someone with a clean slate. Baggage from previous presidential runs would have held Romney back in the long run, and some would argue that Jeb Bush’s last name alone is baggage enough.

However, Romney dropping from the race really screams good news for other contender, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. While Christie might have some baggage of his own, such as overcoming the over-sensationalized Bridgegate episode, Christie has been a rising star, with Romney and Bush as his greatest competition.

With Romney out, things could be shaping up for the New Jersey governor. Especially since the two have been long-time friends. While it’s unlikely that Romney will be throwing his weight around during this election, at least early on, Romney and Christie’s friendship could be a suggestion to donors about where to look to next.

If things weren’t interesting before, they sure are now.