Romney is refusing to attend Iowa’s first-in-the-nation primary, saying it will only “distract the candidates from talking about policy.”
The former Massachusetts governor, who has yet to endorse a candidate in the Republican race, is instead focusing his time on fundraising and campaigning for Senate hopeful Matt Bevin in Kentucky.
He told reporters in Des Moines that he will skip the caucuses because of the “hostility” of the GOP candidates and the “disdain” of many Iowa Republicans for the billionaire.
“There is a strong, bipartisan consensus of support for a robust national debate,” Romney said.
“But I am not going to engage in this debate.
This is not the right forum for it.”
He also told reporters he’s been speaking to the RNC about Iowa, and that it is working on an effort to have the state’s delegates chosen by March 15.
But he noted that he is “not going to commit to any particular candidate.”
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I think that we will be able to do that in the coming months,” he said.
The RNC is hosting an ad buy for Bevin’s campaign in Iowa, which was a focus of Romney’s criticism of Trump.
The billionaire said Tuesday that his comments were “taken out of context” and he would not be attending the caucuses.
“He can’t even go to Iowa,” Romney told reporters on Tuesday, referring to Trump.
“He’s a Republican.
He’s running for president.
The people of Iowa have no interest in that.
They don’t want to hear that, and they’re going to be disgusted.”