- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 30, 2016

With just a few weeks to go until the GOP convention, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says he’s still getting some encouragement from his family to jump into the 2016 race for the White House.

“My wife and kids wanted me to run again this time,” Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, said this week at the “Aspen Ideas Festival.”

“I’ve got some kids — I got an email from one of my sons yesterday saying ‘you gotta get in, Dad — you gotta get in,’ ” he said.

Mr. Romney reiterated that he doesn’t plan to vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the fall, but he said he doesn’t think an independent candidate can win.

“The door is closed unless both candidates come to me and ask me to please save them. I think that’s unlikely,” he said. “I can’t imagine the circumstances that would lead me to be in the race.”

Mr. Romney said he wishes former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential nominee, was at the top of that ticket.

“I don’t know Gary Johnson as well, and I’m not endorsing the Libertarians at this point,” Mr. Romney said, referring to Mr. Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nominee.

Some Republican delegates are holding out hope that they can leverage party rules to deny Mr. Trump the GOP nomination at the convention in Ohio next month.

John Weaver, who served as chief strategist for Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2016 campaign, turned some heads Wednesday when he highlighted polling numbers that showed Mr. Kasich running ahead of Mr. Trump in head-to-head match-ups against Mrs. Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, in a handful of battleground states.

Mr. Kasich had frequently cited his comparatively stronger general election polling numbers as one rationale for remaining in the GOP primary contest even after it became clear he could not secure the party’s nomination on the first ballot at the Republican convention.

Mr. Kasich is one of several former 2016 GOP rivals of Mr. Trump who has yet to formally endorse the real estate mogul. Mr. Trump said at a rally in Maine on Wednesday that such holdouts shouldn’t be allowed to run for public office again since they broke their word on pledging to support the eventual GOP nominee.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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