Put down those homemade “I STILL BELIEVE IN AMERICA” signs, friends. Romney isn’t running.

Romney dropped the news on supporters and staff this morning over the course of two conference calls, reaffirming past statements about the 2012 presidential campaign being his last.

From the New York Times:

In a second call to a larger group of supporters, Mr. Romney said, “After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”

Mr. Romney said he believed he could win the nomination, but he expressed concern about harming the party’s chances to retake the White House. “I did not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming the president,” he said.

He added that it was “unlikely” that he would change his mind.

Mr. Romney, who did not take questions and ended the call shortly after reading a prepared statement, said that his family had been gratified by the outpouring of support, but had decided that it was best for the Republican Party to step aside. Mr. Romney said he would have no leadership PAC and no exploratory committee.

Fellow candidate Jeb Bush left some nice words for Romney in a classy-yet-campaigney Facebook post:

(I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that this whole turn of events suggests that Bush didn’t actually “steal” one of Romney’s top advisors.)

Romney’s announcement back in January that he was seriously considering another bid for the presidency threw campaign wonks for a loop, and had much of the right-leaning sphere begging for mercy.

I still feel what I felt earlier this month—Mitt Romney needs to go down in history as the guy who deserved to be President. The man has been vindicated time and again via the foibles and failures of the Obama Administration—and the right still isn’t willing to coalesce around him.

Mitt Romney read the writing on the wall, and made the right decision.

Will he retire from the public eye? Maybe, but maybe not…

Featured Image here.