- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2015

Former Massachusetts Gov. and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he wasn’t leaving out former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush when he said in late January that one of the “next generation” of Republican leaders may well emerge as being better able to beat the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

“No, no — I’m talking about the next political generation,” Mr. Romney said on NBC’s “Today” program. “I, along with a few other people, ran in the last contest and I was not successful, and my thought was we need a new face, someone not yet defined in the public’s mind. Jeb Bush is one of those new faces.”

After flirting with a third run at the White House, Mr. Romney announced in late January that he would not be running in 2016.

“I want to hear what he has to say, and what Marco [Rubio] has to say, and Chris Christie and others, and as we do I think we’re gonna decide, who’s the person who’s best able to communicate why it is that Republican principles, conservative principles are the best in helping middle class and poor people do better in this country,” Mr. Romney said.

Mr. Romney also called Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who became the first major Republican candidate to actually enter the race earlier this week, a “legitimate contender.”

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