President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's day on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.
WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - Mitt Romney was a reluctant presidential candidate in 2012 -- at least at first.
In a soon-to-be-released book by Dan Balz of The Washington Post, Romney was one of 10 members of his family who voted against making a second White House bid. USA TODAY received a copy of Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and The Future of Elections in America in the mail from the publisher.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who became his party's unsuccessful 2012 presidential nominee, ultimately decided to challenge President Obama. He said in the book that he believed the rest of the Republican field couldn't beat the Democratic incumbent and lacked the "experience and perspective to lead the country."
"I knew how grueling the process was and I felt that there may be others who could be more effective in actually winning and then getting America on course," Romney said in Collision 2012, which goes on sale Aug. 6. "I got into this out of a sense of obligation to the things I believed in and love for the country, but not because it was something I desperately wanted so that I could feel better about myself."
In the 2008 presidential race, Romney had been unable to appeal to a wide group of GOP primary voters. After losing several early primary contests to Arizona Sen. John McCain, the eventual nominee, Romney withdrew on Feb. 7, 2008 during a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
As the book by Balz describes, Romney and his family were vacationing in Hawaii during the 2010 Christmas holidays when they were tossing around the idea of him running again. A vote among 12 Romney family members was taken: Only Ann Romney, his wife, and Tagg Romney, the eldest son, voted "yes" on another presidential bid. Mitt Romney was among the 10 who voted "no."
Tagg Romney, a close adviser to his father, explained a loss of privacy was "an underlying reason" for not seeking the presidency again, but not the "driving reason." There were many concerns about a brutal campaign against a well-funded Obama.
Mitt Romney's reluctance about a race lingered for months after the family vote in Hawaii, Tagg Romney explained.
"Even up until the day before he made the announcement, he was looking for excuses to get out of it," Tagg Romney is quoted as saying in Collision 2012. "If there had been someone who he thought would have made a better president than he, he would gladly have stepped aside."
Romney said in the book that he believed former Florida governor Jeb Bush "might well be able to do what was necessary to get the country on track." Bush, the son and brother of two presidents, ultimately decided against a 2012 presidential and endorsed Romney. Bush is considering a 2016 race.
Collision 2012 is published by Viking.