Underscoring all of these doubts is a palpable annoyance – multiple Republicans called it a “frustration” – that Romney, after spending the past several years dismissing a third run and helping groom the next generation of Republican candidates, is suddenly complicating the party’s efforts to leave the 2008 and 2012 losses in the past.

“This is a crowd that was overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney going into the last primary season. These are loyal, friendly people who care about him, respect him, love him, and would love to see him be president of the United States,” said Saul Anuzis, the former Michigan GOP chairman and committeeman.

“Having said that, this is also a very political crowd. And we have a field of some 20 candidates now that is very strong, has been out there and working. And a lot of people have been working with and moving on to other candidates,” said Anuzis, who is close with the Romney family. “So I think that everybody’s trying to figure out what this means. It’s not necessarily a frustration – but it is a frustration.”