'A sweet soul': Mitt Romney's reflexive cough tells you everything you need to know about Ben Carson
Mitt Romney speaks to CNN (screen grab)

Mitt Romney's answer to a question about Ben Carson's presidential campaign suggested over the weekend that the former GOP nominee does not have a lot of confidence in the current candidate's chances.

"I think there are some very positive attributes that are associated with a number of people that are running for president," Romney told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday. "Marco [Rubio] has very compelling attributes, but look at Chris Christie. This is a guy that's taken on some really tough situations in New Jersey. He's a great debater, he speaks his mind clearly and forcefully."

"Jeb Bush as well has an extraordinary record as the governor of Florida, an education governor, a guy who's made a difference there," he continued. "He could be a very strong nominee. John Kasich has done a terrific job in the state of Ohio, rebuilt the economy. You've got four right there that are amazing individuals. And of course, Carly Fiorina has risen dramatically. So, we got some good folks."

Tapper pointed out that Romney had omitted Ben Carson, which prompted the guest to begin coughing.

After a short pause to clear his throat, Romney said that he did not know much about Carson.

"He's obviously a very gentle and sweet soul who speaks his mind," Romney opined. "And I think people are very drawn to somebody who is so willing to express his views, as he is."

It's not the first time that Romney has left Carson out of his list of qualified Republican candidates.

Speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum last month, Romney named Bush, Christie, Fiorina and Rubio as candidates who could win the presidency. He even included South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in the list, and specifically mentioned Donald Trump as someone who could not win. Carson, however, was excluded from Romney's list of winners.

Watch the video below from CNN's State of the Union, broadcast Oct. 10, 2015.