Romney talks 2016, 'Downton Abbey' and his dancer's legs

Mitt Romney says 'no' to 2016
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Story highlights

  • Former candidate Mitt Romney insists a 2016 presidential run isn't in the cards
  • Instead, he says former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush could be a "terrific president"
  • Romney dishes on his favorite TV show, his grandchildren and his "best compliment"
Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney dodged questions again on whether he'd consider mounting a third bid for the White House in an interview Monday, singling out another former governor instead.
"If you look at (the 2016 Republican field) and see no Jeb Bush, no Chris Christie, no one who you think can raise the money and compete against the Democratic nominee then you'll think about it?" Mark Halperin, co-host of Bloomberg's "With All Due Respect," asked Romney in an interview Monday night.
"I think Jeb is an excellent person, could be a terrific president," Romney said, predicting a wide field of "15 or so people on the stage at the first debate."
"I'm not running, I'm not planning on running, and I got nothing new on that story," he said.
While viewers didn't learn anything new about Romney's plans, they did get another peek into Romney's personal side -- which has emerged more and more from the guarded image of Romney that voters were exposed to two years ago.
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In an evolution from his stiff, buttoned-up demeanor that was often lampooned during his previous White House runs, Romney dished in the interview on his favorite television show, his grandchildren and even a leg massage.
On "Downton Abbey": "I think the show was most enjoyable in the first season. Then when Matthew (Crawley) went off to war, it was a bit of a departure for a few seasons," Romney said, straight-faced. "I actually like the downstairs part more than the upstairs part, even though I think Mary (Crawley) is an absolutely delightful character and I love watching her."
"Are we really talking about 'Downton Abbey'?" he said, laughing.
Romney's wife, Ann, spoke previously about her family's penchant for the British drama in July 2012, prompting Halperin's question.
On the downfalls of glad-handing on the campaign trail: "I shook so many hands at a couple of events that I began to get a kink in my back and so I asked the guy who traveled with me ... 'Can you find someone to get me a back massage at the hotel tonight?' "
"And she gave me a massage, she was Hispanic-American, after I left to get changed and showered and so forth, she turned to (Romney's assistant) and said, 'Is he a dancer?' That was the best compliment I have ever had."
What made her ask?
"The legs," he said. "Strong legs. They're bird legs actually but she thought they were strong."
On his large family: Near the conclusion of the interview, Romney was subjected to a memory test when the co-hosts asked him to name each of his grandchildren as a family picture was projected on a large screen in the studio.
"I know my grandchildren," he said, before exchanging an awkward fist-bump with the show's hosts.