Chaffetz: Romney's serious about 2016

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, says Mitt Romney is serious about a third run for president.

Washington (CNN)Mitt Romney's speech at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting in San Diego proved the party's 2012 nominee is serious about another run and isn't just "going to Sea World for the afternoon," Rep. Jason Chaffetz said on Sunday.

The Utah Republican said he'd spoken with Romney last week -- and he made the case for another Romney campaign during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."
Romney, he said, "checks three boxes that the rest of the candidates don't necessarily" tick off. He's been vetted, Chaffetz said. He's been "proven right on so many issues," like Russia and the war on terror. And he could raise the $1 billion necessary "to beat Hillary Clinton."
    Chaffetz has been among Romney's top supporters as he considers a third run for the White House, after falling short in 2008 and 2012.
    But Ken Cuccinelli, the former Virginia gubernatorial nominee who now helms the Senate Conservatives Fund, said he doesn't want to see another Romney candidacy after his losing 2012 campaign.
    "He wasn't an inspirational character. He doesn't bring a philosophy that he can articulate well," Cuccinelli said.
    He said Republicans had major victories in the 2010 and 2014 elections, when the party's key message was opposing President Barack Obama's health care law, and that its worst election of the three -- 2012 -- came when the former Massachusetts governor who "invented Obamacare" led the ticket.
    Cuccinelli also dismissed the argument that Romney was right about some key topics, including the threat Russia poses -- saying that "I don't think any of the other Republicans would have been wrong about that."
    And despite Romney having been blasted for his time running Bain Capital and in business, Cuccinelli said he "didn't defend capitalism" or articulate a strong message in favor of the GOP's approach to the economy.
    "He didn't make that case," Cuccinelli said, "and I think Republicans have concluded that he can't."