Romney shifts spotlight to McConnell

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, left, address questions from the media as Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, right, and his wife Elaine Chao look on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, at Donamire Farm in Lexington, Ky. Romney was in Kentucky for a fundraiser for McConnell. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Story highlights

  • Romney and McConnell split on the minimum wage, but you wouldn't know from Thursday's event.
  • Romney said he's not running -- and doesn't plan to -- in 2016.
  • Romney has said in the past "we ought to raise" the minimum wage.
Mitt Romney tried Thursday to funnel all the electoral energy surrounding speculation of a possible presidential bid away from him and into Sen. Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign.
"I'm not running, I'm not planning on running. I expect to be supporting one of the many people who I think are looking at this race," the former Republican presidential nominee told reporters at a Lexington fundraiser. "We have a number of different voices within our party that have different views about where America should go and I look forward to supporting one of them."
The statement, though, is more definitive than comments he made to the New York Times Magazine in an article published earlier this week, when he said "there's a chance," but an incredibly slight one.
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"I had the occasion, you may recall, of running for president in 2012," Romney said Thursday. "But I'm not running now, and so I'm not going to get into all the details of policy."
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The policy in this instance is raising the minimum wage, which McConnell has called the Democrat-supported measure a "job killer," and doubled down on his comments Thursday.
"I haven't said anything in any private meetings I haven't said to all of you publicly," McConnell said. "If I'm the leader of the majority next year, we'll have a new agenda. It will be an agenda that's related to creating jobs, not destroying jobs."
When reporters turned to Romney, he refused to reveal any daylight between him and McConnell.
"You just listened to the minority leader, who I hope soon becomes the majority leader, explain the conditions under which he would support a minimum wage increase. He's the guy running for office, and I surely support him," Romney said.
Romney refused to reiterate his support for a minimum wage increase, as he did during a segment on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in May.
"I, for instance, as you know, part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of the minimum wage," he said then. "I think we ought to raise it, because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us."