When compared to some of the routine falsehoods Mitt Romney tells voters, this may not seem especially shocking, but the rhetoric is a standard line in the former governor's stump speech, and it's increasingly grating.
"I never thought I'd be doing this. I mean running for president of the United States, this is not what I planned."
This is probably part of some kind misguided attempt at humility. In politics, voters sometimes don't trust candidates who seem overly ambitious, so Romney feels compelled to pretend he just stumbled into the presidential campaign -- twice.
But the truth is unambiguous: Romney has been on "a seven-year quest for the Republican presidential nomination."
There isn't even anything to debate here. As far back as 2006, then-Gov. Romney and his administrative team collected government hard drives, bought them, and then destroyed them. Why? According to Romney, it was because he was preparing a presidential campaign -- for Pete's sake -- and he wanted to keep potentially-embarrassing information away from opposition researchers.
Even before getting elected governor, he was telling party activists in 2002 about his long-term plan to hold national office.
In September 2008, the AP reported, "While Romney wished McCain and Palin well, his friends and advisers say if they fail in the general election, Romney is primed -- even anxious -- to mount a second bid for the White House."
Also in 2008, literally the very day he ended his campaign, his advisers were already telling reporters he would try again four years later.
In 2009, Romney wrote a campaign book. In 2010, Romney created a political action committee to help curry favor with Republicans whose support he'd soon seek, with a "special focus" on South Carolina and New Hampshire.
Romney would have voters believe he never thought about and never planned to run for president? Seriously?