Romney signals interest in independent candidate

Mitt Romney on Tuesday signaled he would be looking forward to comments from David French, named as a possible independent presidential candidate.

Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, described French in a tweet as "an honorable, intelligent and patriotic person."

French, a constitutional lawyer and Iraq War veteran, was identified in reports Tuesday as the white knight candidate courted by conservatives opposed to presumptive GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE.
 
Bill Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine who has been leading the search for such a candidate, confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that he has zeroed in on French.
 
Two Republicans interviewed by Bloomberg, which first reported the news, said French is open to launching an independent bid but hasn't made a final decision. French declined to comment to Bloomberg.
 
French, who writes for the conservative National Review, penned an article last week slamming Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE and calling on Romney, whom French said he campaigned for in 2008 and 2012, to run for president again.
 
French described Romney as "the only man who combines the integrity, financial resources, name recognition, and broad public support to make a realistic independent run at the presidency."
 
Romney, who has declined calls to reconsider launching a White House bid, has said he'll look to support an alternate candidate in November to Trump or Clinton.
 
“I know that some people are offended that someone who lost and is the former nominee continues to speak, but that’s how I can sleep at night. And there are some people, though it’s a small number, who still value my opinion," he told The Wall Street Journal last week.
 
Kristol, who had urged Romney to launch an independent bid challenging Trump, teased an "impressive" independent candidate in a tweet over the weekend, prompting intense speculation.
 
Trump slammed the continued efforts to oppose his White House bid, calling Kristol an "embarrassed loser." Kristol retorted on Twitter on Tuesday, saying the one thing he's "always tried not to be is a roaring jackass."