AS OF MARCH 9, 2016

by Sharon Rondeau

(Mar. 9, 2016) — Since 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attempted to derail the 2016 candidacy of Donald Trump last Thursday, March 3, in a speech made from the University of Utah, several unconfirmed reports have circulated that Romney filed the necessary documents with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to launch a campaign.

Prior to that address, some in the media had speculated that Romney would enter the race himself as a spoiler for Donald Trump, who leads in the closest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, by approximately 100 delegates following contests in four states on Tuesday.

Speaking from the University of Utah on Thursday morning last week, Romney called Trump “a phony,” “a fraud,” and a failed businessman, despite the fact that upon Trump’s endorsement of him four years ago, Romney had praised Trump’s business acumen and level of success over his own.

Trump claims that Romney “begged” him for the endorsement in 2012.  In a March 4 interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, Romney did not confirm that he had “begged” Trump for the endorsement but admitted that he had sought it out as one of many.  In response to the unearthing of a video depicting Romney’s high praise for Trump’s endorsement, Romney tweeted, “If Trump had said 4 years ago the things he says today about the KKK, Muslims, Mexicans, disabled, I would NOT have accepted his endorsement.”

After noting Romney’s tweet, The Post & Email tweeted back, “Has Trump endorsed the KKK?” but received no response.

During last Thursday’s debate, Trump repeatedly “disavowed” the KKK, whose former then-youthful member, David Duke, reportedly endorsed him last month.  However, in a post dated February 26, Duke denied having endorsed Trump and wrote that he has not been involved in the KKK for approximately four decades.

Duke served as a state representative for the state of Louisiana for two terms, from 1989 to 1993, and has expressed concern about immigration levels.

Romney also claimed to Lauer that Trump had asked for his endorsement now that Trump is a candidate.

In the wake of Trump’s number of victories through late February, NBC’s Chuck Todd speculated that Romney could file to run in the California primary in order to prevent Trump from acquiring more delegates.

In his speech last week, Romney denied having aspirations to become a candidate.  However, CNN reported the same day that Romney and his party associates are seeking a way to deny Trump the nomination if he garners enough delegates to receive it.

When asked on March 6 if he would accept the Republican nomination at a contested convention, he said that Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or John Kasich were “the only ones who could save the party.”  On March 4, Romney told Lauer that “there area  lot of people who don’t want to see Donald Trump become the nominee” after Lauer asked what might happen if the will of the American voters who cast their votes for Trump in the primaries was thwarted.

Romney did, however, tell Lauer that he would not vote for Trump or Hillary Clinton, but rather, “our nominee,” who he said would be “a real conservative, a real Republican.”

Trump has stated in speeches and on Twitter that millions of dollars have been spent by political action committees in an attempt to convince remaining Republican primary and caucus voters to support someone else.  A search of the FEC website under the term “Trump” yields political action committees both supportive and opposed to Trump.

The FEC’s website currently contains several entries for “Mitt Romney,” one of which bears the date “2016,” which at first glance might give the impression that Romney is now a presidential candidate.

On Tuesday, The Post & Email sent a message to the email address listed on the FEC website for media to ask if Romney has, in fact, filed the necessary documents to run for president in 2016.  We wrote:

There is a rumor that Mitt Romney has filed documents to run for president in the 2016 election.  Links provided to support the belief lead to this page or pages:

http://www.fec.gov/fecviewer/CandidateCommitteeDetail.do

I have read these filings in detail, and from what I can gather, the latest activity is a year-end financial report from Romney/Ryan’s 2012 campaign.

Am I misreading the latest report?

Has Mitt Romney filed new documents to run this year?

Thank you very much.

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
www.thepostemail.com

Within a few minutes, we received the following response:

From:  JIngram@fec.gov (JIngram@fec.gov)
        Sent: Tue 3/08/16 6:38 PM
           To: editor@thepostemail.com
           Cc: press@fec.gov

No, he has not filed for 2016.

Judith Ingram
Press Officer
Federal Election Commission
o: (202) 694-1220
m: (202) 531-2882

————————–

Update, March 10, 2016, 12:57 p.m. ET:  An additional statement received from Ingram today reads as follows:

“It appears that the source of the rumors was a filing the Romney-Ryan made to update an address. So there was a new filing but the only new information was that address — not the election cycle.”

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