Several Republicans on Capitol Hill have attacked the plan to strip health care funding from the spending bill in unusually harsh language, although Romney has been silent on this — and virtually every other public debate — for much of the last nine months.
It’s unclear what role the former Massachusetts governor hopes to play for the GOP. He has hinted at a desire to remain an active voice on major policy debates, and he maintains ties to a powerful national fundraising operation.
His presence at the New Hampshire GOP fundraiser Tuesday night helped raise tens of thousands of dollars, according to organizers, which is considered a large haul for a state party so long before the next election. Donors paid between $100 and $1,500 and traveled from as far as California to attend the event, which was held at a lakeside mansion used in 2007 as a vacation home for French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In his speech, Romney acknowledged that some Republicans may not care for his perspective given his recent loss.
“I’m probably not the first person you’d ask for advice,” he said. “But because we all learn from our mistakes, I may have a thought or two of value.”
He called on Republicans to “stay smart,” in part, by backing candidates who can win. And as the pool of potential candidates for the 2016 presidential contest begins to grow, Romney suggested that most are not electable.
“My guess is that every one of the contenders would be better than whoever the Democrats put up,” he said. “But there will only be one or perhaps two who actually could win the election in November.”