Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, said at a dinner in Washington on Thursday night that he had no intention of supporting presumtive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying he was "dismayed" by what he saw as a drift toward "demagoguery" and populism" in both parties.
Romney also praised the leadership of House Speaker Paul Ryan, his 2012 running mate, who earlier on Thursday declared that he wasnot ready to support Trump. Romney said he'd love to see Ryan run for president, but that he's needed in the House at this time.
Though Romney at times sounded like an independent candidate, doling out criticism of both parties and decrying a leadership vacuum of people with the right mix of experience and character, he dismissed the idea that he'd run.
Romney was in attendence at an awards gala for American Friends of The Hebrew University, which supports the university located in Israel's capital city, Jerusalem. The former Massachusetts governor fielded questions from official from the organization.
Asked about a possible independent run, he said, "No, I'm certainly going to be hoping that we find someone who I have my confidence in who becomes nominee. I don't intend on supporting either of the major party candidates at this point."
Earlier in his remarks, Romney cited a commencement speech former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made last week in which he blasted demagogues.
"He basically said, look, on the left you have this demagoguery saying all these problems in the country is because of the bankers, and people of wealth, successful people," Romney recounted. "And on the right, demagogues saying, 'Well, no, these problems mostly involve these Muslims coming in and the Mexicans and so we're scapegoating, which is a characteristic of a demagogue's approach. And clearly that's not going to solve the problems that the country faces."