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The rise and fall of 'Mitt-mentum'

Relive Romney's 2016 roller-coaster ride, from rabid denial to rampant speculation, before gracefully going back to his bowing out.
Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential nominee, talks with people after speaking during the Republican National Committee's winter meeting aboard the USS Midway Museum on Jan. 16, 2015, in San Diego.

After running unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2008 and 2012, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came within a hair's breadth of throwing his hat into the ring for a third time. But he told supporters Friday he would forego another White House bid, saying "I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee."

Now, take one last moment to relive Romney's 2016 roller-coaster ride:

A brief history of 'Mitt-mentum'

  • 2014
  • Jan. 18
    Asked by The New York Times whether he’d consider a third run, Romney replies “Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no.”
  • Sept. 7
    “My time has come and gone,” Romney says on Fox News Sunday. “I had that opportunity. I ran and didn’t win and now it’s time for someone else to pick up the baton.”
  • Oct. 6
    Romney tells Bloomberg TV, “I’m not running. I’m not planning on running. And I got nothing new on that story.”
  • Nov. 18
    In a speech at Brigham Young University, Romney reflects on his 2012 loss, calling his presidential run “extraordinary and revealing.”
  • Dec. 8
    Top GOP donors suggest they’ll wait for Romney to make a decision before committing money to other potential Republican establishment candidates.
  • 2015
  • Jan. 7
    Romney meets with four top former advisers after speaking at Stanford University. Former associates insist he remains interested in a third presidential run.
  • Jan. 9
    “People ask if I really want to be president,” Romney tells a small group of donors in New York City, according to a source in the room. “Yeah, I want to be president.”
  • Jan. 16
    “I’m giving some serious consideration to the future,” Romney says in an address at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting. “We can win in 2016 as a party – in the House, in the Senate and in the White House.”
  • Jan 23.
    Some of Romney’s closest advisers, including Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, meet in Boston.
  • Jan. 28
    Romney delivers a speech at Mississippi State University reflecting on his 2012 campaign and bashing President Obama and potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
  • Jan. 30
    Romney pulls the plug, telling supporters on a conference call, “It is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee.” Jeb Bush promptly tweets, “Mitt is a patriot and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over.”