An interesting turn of events in an already fast-moving January of 2016 election news. Reports indicate that Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush will have a private meeting together this week in Utah. Interestingly enough, the meeting was planned before Romney made his announcement two weeks ago that he was interested in launching a 2016 run.
Report from the New York Times:
Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are scheduled to meet privately this week in Utah, raising the possibility that the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns that would split the Republican establishment next year, two prominent party members said Wednesday night.
The meeting was planned before Mr. Romney’s surprise announcement two weeks ago to donors in New York that he was considering a third run for the White House.
Mr. Bush proposed the meeting, according to one of the party members familiar with the planning, who did not want to be quoted by name in discussing a secret meeting.
The original idea was for Mr. Bush, who announced his presidential ambitions in December, to show his respect for Mr. Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee. The meeting stayed on both men’s calendars even as Mr. Romney took steps to test the presidential waters, moves that could make the meeting awkward.
Aides to Mr. Romney and Mr. Bush did not reply to requests for comment.
Both men have been making a flurry of phone calls to Republican donors and officials to sound them out and gather commitments ahead of what could be a bruising primary race.
The question is, what will be on their agenda to discuss? They’re basically competing for the same donors and the same voting bloc of Republicans as it stands. I actually wonder if they could be considering a truce between the two of them to avoid helping a Tea Party candidate. Jeb campaigned for Romney in 2012 and the two obviously have some kind of working friendship. Perhaps they’re considering how they can keep Chris Christie or another establishment favorite from joining the race? The possibilities are endless but the prospects of the two having a private conversation this early in the game is intriguing.