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 McCainMeghan McCain says Steyer should drop out: 'I hate that guy' Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE (Ariz.) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSchumer requesting .5 billion in emergency funding on coronavirus Republicans give Barr vote of confidence Trump creates new headaches for GOP with top intelligence pick 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 RyanPaul Ryan says he disagrees with Romney's impeachment vote Trump doubles down on Neil Cavuto attacks: 'Will he get the same treatment as' Shep Smith? Trump lashes out at Fox News coverage: 'I won every one of my debates' 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 BachmannEvangelicals shouldn't be defending Trump in tiff over editorial Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations 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 CoburnOvernight Energy: Experts criticize changes to EPA lead, copper rule | House panel looks into plan to limit powers of EPA science advisers | Senate bill aims for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 Trump budget proposal funds financially struggling museum in Reagan's childhood home The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach 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 BoehnerCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Lobbying world Pelosi-Trump relationship takes turn for the terrible MORE (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives To avoid November catastrophe, Democrats have to KO Sanders 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 PortmanWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way GOP senators offering bill to cement business provision in Trump tax law Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law 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 BidenJoe BidenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Vulnerable Democrats brace for Sanders atop ticket MORE made similar remarks in 2008 as he and his staff worked to get on the 2008 Democratic ticket. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman 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 GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Congress eyes killing controversial surveillance program Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far 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.