Speaking with John Dickerson at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Wednesday, Mitt Romney revealed one of his sons is still pushing him to enter the 2016 presidential race, despite Romney’s public protestations that he will not do so.

Romney stated, “My wife and kids wanted me to run again this time, interestingly enough. I got an email from one of my sons yesterday, saying, ‘You gotta get in, Dad. You gotta get in.’” Romney opined, "The reality is, of course, you think about things like that from time to time. (But) I don’t think an independent candidate could win and the idea of running and asking people to come around me with the sole purpose of being a spoiler is not something I could go out in good faith to donors and to workers and to voters and say, 'Come help me stop this candidate or that candidate.'"

"For my wife and kids to say, 'Do it again' -- and I'm talking about late in the process here -- they were concerned about the direction of the nominating process in our party," Romney said, then recalled urging his father George to continue seeking the presidency even after he had lost the race for the nomination before. He added, "I appreciate the fact that they're doing that -- but my dad didn't run when there was no chance of winning."

Romney gave his chief reason for eschewing a presidential bid, saying, “It’s hard on family. It’s hard on your spouse, sitting there in debates, just agonizing over what you're gonna say next. Or what your kids have to go through. Or what your grandkids go through.”

In early March, Romney strongly dismissed the idea of running, saying to Matt Lauer on the Today Show: “"There are no circumstances I can foresee where (my running for president) would possibly happen … no reasonable scenario I can imagine … "I won't run for president."

Romney paid homage to President John Adams, saying, "Every democracy commits suicide. There never was a democracy yet where the people didn't vote themselves into oblivion."

"I got an email from one of my sons yesterday, saying, ‘You gotta get in, Dad. You gotta get in.'"

Mitt Romney

Adams once wrote:

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.