Pelosi: I hope Romney is the GOP nominee
© Greg Nash

Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Pawlenty departing Wall Street group as campaign rumors swirl Trump ambassador nominee spread conspiracy theories about Cruz, Kasich MORE has attracted an unlikely supporter in his possible 2016 White House bid: Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiGOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American' Rep. Gutiérrez: 'Complete betrayal' if Pelosi backs budget caps deal without DACA Senate leaders say they're zeroing in on two-year budget deal MORE (D-Calif.).

Asked if Romney has any shot at defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016, Pelosi told The Hill, “No, no. I mean, he might be a nice person — no offense, no offense — [but] let’s save you time.”

A smiling Pelosi added, “Let me put it this way — I hope he’s their nominee.”

Romney, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2008 Republican primary before being defeated handily by President Obama in 2012, is now weighing a third shot at the White House in 2016. The former Massachusetts governor has been calling donors to size up support he retains after two failed bids.

A number of Republicans have criticized his interest, arguing that the party needs to field a fresh face if it hopes to have a chance of taking the presidency next year.

But a poll released last week found that Romney has a double-digit lead in the field of potential GOP nominees. In that Rasmussen survey, 24 percent of respondents said they would choose Romney if the Republican primary were held today. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was the closest contender, with 13 percent.

Pelosi, the nation’s first female Speaker, has made it clear that she’d like to see Clinton succeed Obama.

“If she runs, she will win the nomination,” Pelosi said.

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