- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2015

Before Mitt Romney announced Friday he wouldn’t run for president in 2016, he had indicated fighting poverty would be a centerpiece of his would-be campaign — and the White House wants other Republicans to follow the former Massachusetts governor’s lead.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Friday he hopes Mr. Romney will be a loud, influential voice in the GOP presidential primary, even though he isn’t seeking the White House.

“I’m confident Gov. Romney is someone whose endorsement will be sought by other Republican candidates and I’m hopeful Gov. Romney will use that influence to try to elevate the debate and try to have more attention on policies that actually benefit middle class families,” Mr. Earnest said. “That would be a really good thing and it certainly would be a way for Gov. Romney … a way he could substantially contribute to this debate.”

Mr. Romney, who ran for president in 2008 and captured his party’s nomination in 2012, said Friday he won’t seek the White House for a third time.

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