10 congressional endorsements the 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls want

10 congressional endorsements the 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls want

The GOP's 2012 White House hopefuls have been running against Washington, but they are also working behind the scenes to rally support from kingmakers on Capitol Hill.

Many major players in the Republican Party, including Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (Ariz.) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneFlake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March The 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework MORE (S.D.), have come out in support of Mitt Romney. But there are other influential Republicans who have remained neutral in the  presidential primary. 

Romney has by far the most congressional endorsements, according to The Hill’s tally. However, five of the last six lawmaker endorsements have gone to candidates not named Romney.

The top 10 coveted congressional endorsements follow.

Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are avoiding gun talks as election looms The Hill's 12:30 Report Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan MORE (R-Wis.): 

altThe Budget Committee is revered on the right, and considered a possible vice presidential pick this year. Ryan last year fired back at Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) when the former Speaker ripped the Wisconsin lawmaker’s Medicare reform plan. Ryan would be a big get for any of the White House hopefuls, but it’s noteworthy that he didn’t endorse in the 2008 primary.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.): 

altDeMint backed Romney in 2008, but has held off this time around. DeMint has been complimentary of Romney in recent days and went so far as to predict the former Massachusetts governor will win the pivotal Jan. 21 South Carolina primary.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.): 

altLieberman is certainly keeping his options open. The retiring senator backed McCain in 2008, delivering a speech at the Republican convention that infuriated Democrats. The 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate could opt to stay out of this race entirely, but it is likely he will be courted by both sides of the aisle.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.): 

altSocial conservatives are big fans of Pence, who considered running for president. But Pence opted to launch a bid for governor instead. Pence’s backing would be a huge boost for Romney, who has not been embraced by leading social conservatives. Pence, 52, did not endorse in the 2008 primary.

Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBachmann won't run for Franken's Senate seat because she did not hear a 'call from God' Billboard from ‘God’ tells Michele Bachmann not to run for Senate Pawlenty opts out of Senate run in Minnesota MORE (R-Minn.): 

altBachmann dropped out of the White House race after her disappointing finish in the Iowa Caucus. But Bachmann’s bid for the presidency significantly raised her profile. Bachmann has been a leading critic of the new healthcare reform law and accused Romney of implementing "socialized medicine" when he was governor of Massachusetts. 

Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPaul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks Republicans should know reviving earmarks is a political nightmare MORE (R-Okla.): 

altFiscal hawks are fond of Coburn, who backed McCain over Romney in 2008. One candidate Coburn will not endorse is Gingrich. Coburn served with Gingrich in the House and last year called the former Speaker’s leadership “lacking.”

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (Ky.):

altaltThese two leaders have repeatedly said they will not endorse in the primary, even though a few of their lieutenants have gotten behind Romney.

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanCommittee chairman aims for House vote on opioid bills by Memorial Day Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March MORE (R-Ohio): 

altPortman is one to watch. He is seen as a possible running mate this year, and helped McCain and George W. Bush in their presidential campaigns. Portman this week indicated he will soon get behind Romney, adding that he is not interested in the vice presidency and "it's not going to happen." Of course, Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Trump: Why didn't Obama 'do something about Russian meddling?' 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states MORE made similar remarks in 2008 as he and his staff worked to get on the 2008 Democratic ticket. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioColbert: Students taking action on gun violence 'give me hope' Lawmakers feel pressure on guns Florida lawmaker's aide fired after claiming shooting survivors were 'actors' MORE (R-Fla.): 

altRubio is the leading candidate to be the No. 2 on the ticket, and has said he will not endorse in the primary. But Rubio could play cement Romney’s nomination this month before the Jan. 31 Florida contest, just like then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist did for McCain four years ago.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (R-S.C.): 

altStumping for his good friend McCain in 2008, Graham was not shy in ripping Romney. Graham also has recently questioned Romney’s foreign policy positions. Graham has said he will not endorse, though McCain’s backing of Romney has some thinking that could change.