Politico is reporting that Mitt Romney has teamed up with Sheldon Adelson to influence the 2016 Republican nomination process. Romney aims to have a conservative in the mainstream, mainly Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, win the nomination and advance to the general election relatively unscathed.
Romney also apparently feels that the long process in 2012, where almost every month a new “anti-Romney” rose to the top of the polls. This led to long-shot candidates staying in the race longer and dragging out the process. The longer process also damaged Romney as it led to more attacks on him from within the party and led to criticism that his party was looking for any candidate but him.
Romney had been his hosting his third annual E2 Summit in Utah this summer. The event is a gathering of top donors and supporters. While Romney’s run has been criticized by some in the party, many give him credit for his value in fundraising. Romney raised large amounts of money and effectively used his super PACs in the first post-Citizens United presidential election.
Romney has not ruled out making an endorsement in order to support the candidate of his choosing. His endorsement could help that candidate consolidate support from the donor class. Adelson is also working to have mega donors line up behind one candidate. This is a tad ironic because Adelson’s support of Newt Gingrich’s candidacy in 2012 allowed the former Speaker to stay in the race longer and win the South Carolina primary.