Former President George H.W. Bush on Friday threw his support behind Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, a vote of confidence that should help add some momentum to the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign.
Speaking to the Houston Chronicle Bush noted:
“I think Romney is the best choice for us,” and “I like [Texas Governor Rick] Perry, but he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere; he’s not surging forward.”
In making his Romney endorsement he added:
“He’s a fine person, I just think he’s mature and reasonable – not a bomb-thrower.”
While traveling across New Hampshire on his bus tour this week Romney said of his Bush support:
“I’m very encouraged by the support of President Bush,” and “As you can tell there’s growing momentum for this effort, here in New Hampshire and across the country.
“I must admit this is much more important to me personally than even politically,” Romney added.
When asked what he thought about Newt Gingrich the former U.S. President noted “I’m not his biggest advocate.”
His gripe against Gingrich spans back to 1990 when Bush decided to break his “Read my lips: No new taxes” pledge as the country fell into a recession. Gingrich the story goes promised to endorse the tax increase but at the crucial moment of lobbying the then House whip was nowhere to be found.
“He was there, right outside the Oval Office. I met with all the Republican leaders, all the Democratic leaders,” Bush recalled. “The plan was, we were all going to walk out into the Rose Garden and announce this deal. Newt was right there. Got ready to go out in the Rose Garden, and I said, ‘Where’s Gingrich?’ Went up to Capitol Hill. He was here a minute ago. Went up there and started lobbying against the thing.
“He told me one time later on, he said, ‘This is the most difficult thing I ever had to do.’ I said, ‘I didn’t like it much myself, Newt.’”
In the meantime Bush’s personal aid Jim Appleby was quick to point out that Bush was not offering an official endorsement at this time:
“It is not an endorsement of the governor,” Appleby said. “As he says in there, he’s a really good friend.”
This isn’t the first time Bush has shown outward support for Romney, telling former CNN host Larry King during a sit down that he thought Romney would make “a very good president. ”
“If you asked me, who will the nominee be, I couldn’t tell you,” George told Larry Kind when asked who his favorite 2012 nominee would be. “We like Mitt Romney. We know him well and like him very much.”
“He’s a reasonable guy,” he added. “A conservative fellow, which is good. But no, I think he’d be a good president, a very good president.”
Barbara Bush has also spoken to Mitt Romney’s character but has stepped back from making an official endorsement for what she calls a field of worthwhile candidates.
Do you think Mitt Romney will see a big push in the polls from the George H.W. Bush endorsement?