NBC's Matt Lauer grills Mitt Romney: Is there any way you'd run for president?

Mitt Romney: I'll Do Everything Within 'Political Bounds' to Stop Trump
Mitt Romney: I'll Do Everything Within 'Political Bounds' to Stop Trump

Mitt Romney said Friday that he would do "do everything within the normal political bounds" to stop Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary.

"I think he would be terribly unfit for office. I don't think he has the temperament to be president," Romney explained on NBC's "Today" show.

Romney has had a fierce back and forth with Trump, the GOP frontrunner, in recent days, prompting more speculation on Thursday that Romney could launch an 11th-hour White House bid of his own.

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On "Today," host Matt Lauer repeatedly pressed Romney on whether there's any scenario in which the 2012 Republican nominee would be willing to emerge as a consensus candidate later this year in a contested GOP convention. If Trump does not secure a majority of delegates in the primaries and caucuses, there could be an effort to nominate an alternative.

"Have you left the door open just wide enough for you ride through it on a white horse? Do you want to be considered as an alternative to save this party if it gets down to a contested convention in July?" Lauer asked Romney.

Romney insisted that he intended to support one of the three non-Trump candidates remaining in the primary: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, or Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

He told Lauer:

No, no, the people who can save this party are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or John Kasich. We're going to get a sense within a few days of who that person might be. But I'm going to be supporting that person and and doing everything I can to make sure they become the nominee of the party.

"I'm going to be a little stubborn on this," Lauer then told Romney. "Under any circumstances governor, if large numbers of people ... come to you and say, 'Mitt you're the guy who can save the day.' Under any circumstances, would you be a part of this presidential race as a candidate?"

Romney replied by saying, "There are no circumstances I can foresee where that would possibly happen."

Lauer, incredulous, noted that Romney had only addressed the circumstances that he could "foresee."

"No reasonable scenario I can imagine," Romney added.

"Just slam the door on it," Lauer said. "Close the door. Unambiguous: You 'will not run for president.'"

Romney finally agreed to clearer language.

"I'm not running for president," he said. "And I won't run for president."

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Originally published