Though this election cycle was supposed to feature the most impressive field of Republican presidential candidates in decades, a handful of the party’s major donors and bundlers remain underwhelmed by their options. They are longing for the bad old days, and Mitt Romney is still their man. These holdouts continue to hope that the former Massachusetts governor, who said in January he would not run for a third time, will change his mind. They believe he could dispel the chaos that has reigned over the Republican field for months. Though they gave plenty of money to Romney’s presidential campaigns, this year they’re keeping their wallets shut, waiting for him to reenter the fray.
Dr. Greggory DeVore, who in 2012 raised more than $1 million for Romney, is one of these men. He’s even printed up Romney 2016 bumper stickers, and his black Audi S8 has two pasted on the back. “Romney 2016,” they say. “I told you so — now let’s fix it.”
“The guy was prophetic in what he saw,” DeVore says of Romney. This cycle, he says, “I cannot commit a dime to anybody because I don’t see a future.” According to DeVore, several top Romney donors are keeping their powder dry because they “recognize that the people we’ve put out are not the same caliber as a Mitt Romney.”
“They’re looking around and asking, ‘Is there anybody else to believe in?’ And the answer is no.”
Dave Van Slooten, a former Wall Street investor who donated more than $50,000 to Romney, says he’s similarly underwhelmed by the current GOP field. “We got exposure to all the candidates in the last debate, and I personally don’t think any of them measure up to Mitt,” Van Slooten says. (Continues)