Mitt Romney On 2016 Frontrunners: "I Think People Are Impressed"

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Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romey speaks with MSNBC's Morning Joe to give his thoughts on the 2016 election, saying that Republicans must find "someone who represents a new face, a new generation of political leaders."

"Jeb Bush or Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and John Kasich, you know, Carly Fiorina and on and on," Romney said. "We have got a lot of very good people that are looking at this race and people want to take a look at them. Frankly, I think people are impressed with what they see."

On Jeb Bush:

"I mean, I could go on with a longer list. But I think at this stage, you have to be very impressed with the precampaign work, which Jeb Bush has carried out. He has put together a first-rate organization and he has raised a lot of money."

On Hillary Clinton:

"When you see her on a stage or when she comes into a room full of people, she is smiling with her mouth, but her eyes are saying, you know, where's my latte? It just doesn't suggest that she believes everything she's saying."

On money in politics:

"I'm sorry, the truth is that to run a campaign these days, you have to have the funds to get you from state to state and to run advertising and to get your message out and I think he's done that better than anybody else."

[Full Transcript]

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: Joining us from Salt Lake City, Utah, former governor of Massachusetts and the Republican nominee for president in 2012, Mitt Romney. Good to have you back on the show this morning.

MITT ROMNEY, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Thanks, Mika. Good to be with you guys.

BRZEZINSKI: Joe was surmising earlier. He thinks there's still time.

SCARBOROUGH: I think there's time. I went up there last year and said you've got to start a draft Mitt movement. You have got 20 people in the race now, no clear frontrunner, I think the time is now, governor. What say you?

ROMNEY: Sorry about that, Joe. I'm counting about you getting in the race. I think that's a better shot.

SCARBOROUGH: That's not going to happen. But it is, though, how do you tell people that have supported you so long and are looking for leadership, trying to figure out who to support moving forward, where do you tell them which direction to go when so many of them want you in there?

ROMNEY: Well, those that want me in there are great friends and loyalists, but I think a lot of people have to agree with the conclusion I reached, which is if we're going to win in November of '16, our best shot is if we have someone who represents a new face, a new generation of political leaders, whether it's Jeb Bush or Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and John Kasich, you know, Carly Fiorina and on and on, we have got a lot of very good people that are looking at this race and people want to take a look at them. Frankly, I think people are impressed with what they see.

BRZEZINSKI: Any major stand-outs at this point? Did you pare it down to that group?

ROMNEY: That's among those. I mean, I could go on with a longer list. But I think at this stage, you have to be very impressed with the precampaign work, which Jeb Bush has carried out. He has put together a first-rate organization and he has raised a lot of money. And I'm sorry, the truth is that to run a campaign these days, you have to have the funds to get you from state to state and to run advertising and to get your message out and I think he's done that better than anybody else.

There are others, however, that have done a great job activating supporters around them. I think you have seen some great speeches and rallies from Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, and that list will probably grow as time goes on.

BRZEZINSKI: I'm just wondering what your thoughts were on Hillary Clinton's sort of secondary roll-out over the weekend and the message that she sent to her audience?

ROMNEY: I thought the text touched the various places she needs to touch to try to keep her base in tact. Somehow, though, when you see her on a stage or when she comes into a room full of people, she is smiling with her mouth, but her eyes are saying, you know, where's my latte? It just doesn't suggest that she believes everything she's saying.

I was afraid as I watched that speech, in some respects, perhaps it was that it's so different than what she has said in the past that I was finding it a bit jarring. I'm sure she'll become more effective as time goes on. At this stage, what does she really believe? I think people wonder, can they really trust Hillary Clinton.

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