Republicans

Gearing up? Romney calling former aides, supporters as he weighs 2016 bid

Dec. 1, 2014: Former Republican presidential canadiate Mitt Romney smiles on the field before an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Dec. 1, 2014: Former Republican presidential canadiate Mitt Romney smiles on the field before an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Mitt Romney is calling former aides, donors and supporters from his 2012 campaign as he weighs launching a third presidential bid, a senior Romney aide told Fox News -- as the former Massachusetts governor also considers speaking at a Republican Party summit this week in California. 

The developments, which follow the 2012 GOP presidential nominee telling donors last week he's considering a 2016 bid, show him inching ever-closer to a decision. 

But sources close to Romney, who for months denied interest in another White House campaign, are pushing back on the notion that a 2016 bid is inevitable. 

"I would not say he is reassembling his [2012] staff. He is giving it a lot of thought and a lot of effort," the senior Romney aide said. "He is talking to a lot of people. This is Mitt Romney's decision." 

Romney has been phoning GOP leaders as well as former supporters from his unsuccessful 2012 bid as he weighs his options. A Romney aide told Fox News that the former Massachusetts governor has a short window to make a decision on a presidential bid -- at most, a month. 

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee has invited him to speak at its winter meeting near San Diego this week. 

Romney has not yet decided whether he will attend the meeting, but RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told Fox News that Romney was "one among several prominent Republican officials, and leaders, who were invited." 

Among the prominent Republicans confirmed to speak at the conference on Coronado Island, Spicer noted, was Dr. Ben Carson. 

The Washington Post first reported that Romney had begun contacting former aides and other supporters over the weekend. The Post reported that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Romney's running mate in 2012, was among those contacted and was described by people with knowledge of the calls as "encouraging." On Monday, Ryan announced that he would not seek the Republican nomination. 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who will be in California this week for fundraising events, was also invited to the RNC event but has no plans currently to attend the meeting, a Bush source confirmed to Fox News.