POLITICS MARCH 14, 2012
Given that Mitt Romney is ostensibly the “establishment candidate” of his party, it’s surprising to see just how much of the Republican establishment has refrained from endorsing him. And that reticence is now starting to take its toll: There’s little doubt that if Republican elites more consistently rallied around Mitt, he could probably be spared an even longer, more dragged-out primary. Just in case Mitt wants to pick up the phone to plead his case, here’s a list of GOP bigwigs who are still taking a wait-and-see approach to his candidacy:
“He has no plans to endorse, although he does reserve the right to,” said Alex Conant, a spokesperson from Senator Rubio’s office, adding that Rubio would “campaign hard for the nominee.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner has refused to endorse a candidate during the primary. Last fall, Boehner indicated that he did not intend to endorse a candidate before the Convention stating, “I think we’ve got a lot of good candidates. They’re out there presenting their ideas, and I think it’s important to allow those who show up in the Republican primary to choose the candidate of their choice.”
“The Senate Republican leader has not made an announcement on that,” said Michael Brumas, communications director of Mitch McConnell’s Senate leadership office.
“[Governor Daniels] has not endorsed a candidate,” said Jane Jankowski, press secretary of the Indiana Governor’s Office.
“Because of his position as NRSC [National Republican Senatorial Committee] chairman, Senator Cornyn will continue to remain neutral during the primary process,” said Scott Gosnell, deputy press secretary for Senator John Cornyn.
“Senator Collins has not yet endorsed a candidate,” said Kevin Kelley, a spokesperson for Senator Collins.
Earlier this month, the Des Moines Register reported that Senator Chuck Grassley predicted that Mitt Romney would win the nomination, but he did not officially endorse any of the candidates. “Senator Grassley is not in a hurry to make an endorsement,” said Jill Kozeny, a spokesperson for the Senator.
“He hasn’t endorsed anyone, he doesn’t make a practice of it, and he has no plans to endorse anyone soon” said Suzanne Bottorff, deputy press secretary for the Senator, before adding that “he looks forward to supporting the Republican nominee.”
Senator Olympia Snowe’s office confirmed that she had not endorsed a candidate yet.
A source close to the Louisiana governor told CNN this week that Jindal would not be endorsing anyone before the Louisiana primary on March 24.
Governor Scott Walker hasn’t publicly endorsed anyone yet and when asked about who he would endorse, his spokesperson said, “We’ll respectfully decline comment.”
“Congressman Ryan’s role as Chairman of the Republican National Committee’s Presidential Trust prevents him from endorsing a candidate in the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary,” said Kevin Seifert, Paul Ryan’s press secretary.
The Senator from Wyoming, a member of the GOP’s Senate leadership, stated in December that he would not endorse any candidate during the primaries, but would support whomever became the Republican nominee. His office could not be reached for comment.
The Senator from Arizona has not officially endorsed anyone yet; his office did not return messages for comment.
The former Florida governor has not officially supported any candidate. During a speech in Dallas last month, Bush said he found it “a little troubling” that the candidates were “appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective.”
Simon Meiners, Nick Robins-Early, Perry Stein, and Eric Wen are interns at The New Republic.