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Romney eyes 2016 run for president, close friend says

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Posted at 9:32 PM, Dec 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-29 23:32:57-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Will Mitt Romney run for President in 2016?

A close confidante says the Republican is eyeing the White House yet again.

Romney's long-time advisor, former chairman and general counsel of Romney's leaderships PACs Kirk Jowers, said the Republican is considering it.

Romney isn't saying yes but he also isn't saying no.

"I laugh whenever I get that question because really the answer is zero percent until he says I'm in, then it's 100 percent -- but what we have seen is Gov. Romney started off 2014 saying no, and sometimes saying no 12 straight times to national reporters on whether he would ever run again but he's clearly softened on that no in the last couple of months," said Jowers, who has been by Romney's side since the 1990s.

"I did absolutely take him at his word at the start of 2014, that he had no desire to run again, that he really did want someone else to step up but so far no one has really caught hold of America's imagination," Jowers said.

Romney's long-time adviser believes a 2016 bid depends on who throws their hat in the ring. Speculation is Texas Senator Ted Cruz or former Florida governor Jeb Bush, among others.

But the real question is which candidate will have a shot against a political juggernaut like Hillary Clinton?

"I think he's been bolstered by the polls where he is always the clear frontrunner. He's the only one that fares well against Hilary Clinton, his donor base is really pushing for him to run again and the Republican field of candidates, while broad, doesn't look like it has any chance of beating Hilary Clinton. So I think all of those factors have caused Gov. Romney to say, ‘I better take a step back and think about it,’" Jowers said.

Political insiders tell FOX 13 there's a strong push from the GOP to get Romney back on the ticket for the third time.

Jowers thinks Romney is the GOP's only hope at taking back the White House.

"This is a must-win for the Republicans and I think that will be the biggest deciding factor for Gov. Romney, is there any Republican who can beat Hilary Clinton and if he's really the only one as the polls show right now then he better think about it long and hard. I think he is the Republican party's best chance at winning in 2016," Jowers said.