Was Mitt Romney really the GOP's best candidate? - The Week Republicans had better options — but those people didn't run: Romney was "head and shoulders above candidates like Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain," says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, might have been more electable, but primary voters weren't interested. If Romney was the best the GOP had, though, it was because the rivals who "might have posed a challenge" to him — "Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, and Marco Rubio come to mind" — didn't run The GOP primaries damage even strong candidates: Romney is "robotic" and "severely out of touch," says Richard Cohen at The Washington Post, but the GOP's "real problem" is its "incredibly damaging" primary system. It forces everyone to pander to the right so much "that it all but dooms the winner." The resultant "brain drain" is why, in 1980, Ronald Reagan had to beat a future president and two future Senate leaders, but Romney just had to outshine "a bunch of nobodies" who weren't "remotely qualified."