US: Mitt Romney rules out run for President

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Mitt Romney has announced that he will not run for President again in 2016.

The Republican politician previously ran for President in 2008 and 2012, but lost both times.

In 2008 he lost the Republican nomination to Senator John McCain, and in 2012 secured the party’s nomination but failed to beat Democrat Barack Obama.

Mr Romney – who is strongly opposed to same-sex marriage – said in a statement: “After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee…

“I’ve been asked, and will certainly be asked again if there are any circumstances whatsoever that might develop that could change my mind. That seems unlikely.

“Accordingly, I’m not organizing a PAC or taking donations; I’m not hiring a campaign team.

“I encourage all of you on this call to stay engaged in the critical process of selecting a Republican nominee for President.

“I believe a Republican winning back the White House is essential for our country, and I will do whatever I can to make that happen.

“To all my supporters, friends and family who worked both tirelessly and loyally to support my campaigns in the past, I will always be deeply appreciative. What you have already done is a tribute to your patriotism.

“We are overwhelmed and humbled by your loyalty to us, by your generosity of spirit, and by your friendship. God bless you all.”

The former Governor of Massachusetts – who is affiliated with the Mormon church – claimed last year: “I think marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, and I think the ideal setting for raising a child is in a setting where there’s a father and mother.

“Now there are many other different settings that children are raised in, and people have the right to live their life as they want to.

“But I think marriage should be defined in the way it’s been defined for several thousand years. And if gay couples want to live together, that’s fine as well, that’s their right.”