Mr. Romney may have had a good personal story to tell – an attractive family, a life of quiet good works tied to his Mormon faith – but it came too late in the presidential campaign. Plus, there was no way he could dispel his image as a really, really rich white guy who had trouble relating to working families and less-fortunate Americans – the “47 percent” he derided when talking to campaign donors.
For the record, at least, few Republicans or conservative leaders speak unkindly of Romney these days.
“Certainly he gave a lot for the cause," Tim Phillips, president of the national conservative group Americans for Prosperity, told The Associated Press. "But most of the movement is wanting to look forward. They want to look forward to the next generation of leaders."
"We need as many voices for conservative reform and leadership as possible," said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, among those Republicans thought to be weighing a 2016 presidential bid. "I welcome Governor Romney and anybody else who will help to make that message and help to take that fight."