Mitt Romney is giving up on the idea of finding someone — anyone — who could challenge Donald Trump’s presidential bid from the right.
According to Yahoo News, the 2012 GOP nominee who lead the “Never Trump” effort doesn’t plan to run himself and is throwing in the towel on drafting a right-leaning alternative.
“He thinks someone should run. That’s his role. That’s the beginning and end of it,” a Romney adviser told Yahoo.
Another Romney ally told Yahoo that the former Massachusetts governor “is not now engaged in an effort to recruit a third-party candidate.”
Yahoo goes on to say that people in Romney’s inner circle worry that his association with the “stop Trump” movement has been blown out of proportion despite his very public statement objecting to Trump’s campaign.
The news could further put a damper on the anti-Trump movement. There had been recent reports that Romney had reached out to Republicans Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, among others, to see if they would consider running as a third-party candidate.
The goal was to find a candidate who could win even a handful of states and stop either the GOP presumptive nominee or Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton from obtaining the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency in November.
Kasich has already said he won’t run. And Erick Erickson, founder of the conservative RedState.com who also worked to find an independent candidate, told The Hill last week that the operation would need at least $250 million to mount a third-party challenge.