Washington - Former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney is reportedly drawing flak from Republican party leaders for telling campaign donors that President Barack Obama won his second term in office by giving "financial gifts" to his supporters.
The former Massachusetts governor, who attracted 1 billion dollars in funding and 59 million votes in his bid to unseat Obama, has rapidly become 'persona non grata' to shell-shocked Republicans, who appear to be eager to map out their future without the 2012 nominee, The Washington Post reports.
According to the paper, it's a remarkable fall from grace for Romney, who just 10 days ago held the chance of a Republican return to power at the White House.
The messy aftermath of his failure suggests that Romney, a political amalgam with no natural constituency beyond the business community, is unlikely to play a significant role in rebuilding his party, a notion shared by many Republicans who spoke earlier this week, the paper said.
"He's not going to be running for anything in the future. He's not our standard-bearer, unfortunately," said Rep. RaÃºl R. Labrador, who sharply criticized Romney's comments about Hispanics.
The fate of failed presidential nominees varies widely in modern times. While Republican nominee and former Senate majority leader Bob Dole still wields influence as a party sage since his failed 1996 run, the most famous loser of all might be Richard M. Nixon, who was defeated in a presidential bid in 1960 and a California gubernatorial race in 1962, only to come back to win the White House in 1968.
But, Romney, by contrast, appears well on the way to disappearing, with a not-so-gentle shove from his own party, as the private-equity firm founder, who listed his profession as "author" on campaign disclosures, has no political stage from which to operate and has few voices of support to spur him on, the paper added.