Former President George H.W. Bush, while stopping short of a formal endorsement, declared that Mitt Romney was the "best choice" for Republicans in 2012.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
“I think Romney is the best choice for us,” former President Bush told the Houston Chronicle this week. “I like Perry, but he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere; he’s not surging forward.”
Bush said he had known Romney for many years and also knew his father, George Romney, a former Republican governor of Michigan who ran for president in 1968.
Bush said he supported Romney because of his “stability, experience, principles. He’s a fine person,” he said. “I just think he’s mature and reasonable – not a bomb-thrower.”
Bush denied that the latter label implied that the candidate field includes any bomb-throwers.
“I’ve got to be a little careful, because I like Perry; he’s our governor,” he said.
Bush's support is likely to solidify the narrative that the GOP establishment is rallying around Romney. But it's unlikely to help the former Massachusetts governor gain any ground among skeptical conservatives or Tea Party activists who have never forgiven Bush for breaking his "Read my lips, no new taxes" pledge.