Mitt Romney’s decision to sit out the next presidential race moves one of the GOP’s biggest anchors to the past, and the party’s fresh faced hopefuls are already scrambling to take advantage.
“People want new fresh leadership with big, bold, ideas, and the courage to act on them,” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “And if we are going to take on a name from the past, which is likely be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I think, for the party, we need a name from the future.”
GOP analysts say the early shakeup could help Jeb Bush court some of Mr. Romney’s supporters from 2012, but say it also could make it tougher for Mr. Bush, whose famous family makes him the only remaining candidate with deep ties to the Republican Party’s past — a history many primary voters appear eager to forget.
“Outside of Bush it is going to be harder for old blood to break through,” said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist. “And even in Jeb’s case he has to be Jeb, not Bush. GOP voters are looking for something new to rally around particularly with Hillary waiting in the wings.”