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Mitt Romney announces he won't run for president

Mitt Romney announced Friday that he will not run for president in 2016
How the 2016 race changes without Mitt Romney 01:55

Mitt Romney announced Friday morning that he would not be making a third run for the presidency.

Talking about 2016: Clinton, Romney and everyone else 04:59

On a call with supporters and donors, he said, "After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee."

Given polling that he said showed him leading in all four early-voting states, Romney said, "I am convinced that we could win the nomination, but fully realize it would have been difficult test and a hard fight."

He told the listeners on call that he also would have had ample financing and support but indicated that he might not be the candidate with the best chance of winning.

"I do not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming that president. You can't imagine how hard it is for Ann and me to step aside, especially knowing of your support and the support of so many people across the country."

Romney said he would instead leave the field to "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, [who] may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee."

He made the call from New York City, with his wife Ann, while political leaders from the early-voting states were on the line, with supporters and donors.

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