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 McCainAmerica's newest comedy troupe: House GOP Michelle Malkin knocks Cokie Roberts shortly after her death: 'One of the first guilty culprits of fake news' Arizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema MORE (Ariz.) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThe Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' 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 RyanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas 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 BachmannKlobuchar urges CNN town hall audience: 'That's when you guys are supposed to cheer, OK?' Michele Bachmann praises Trump: Americans will 'never see a more godly, biblical president' Will Biden lead a 'return to normalcy' in 2020? 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 CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access 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 BoehnerBoehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader Scaramucci compares Trump to Jonestown cult leader: 'It's like a hostage crisis inside the White House' MORE (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes On The Money: House votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November | Judge blocks California law requiring Trump tax returns | Senate panel approves three spending bills 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 PortmanCost for last three government shutdowns estimated at billion The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation 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 BidenGiuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it Trump whistleblower complaint involves Ukraine: report MORE made similar remarks in 2008 as he and his staff worked to get on the 2008 Democratic ticket. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign Republicans wary of US action on Iran California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth 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 GrahamHouse Armed Services panel gets classified briefing on Saudi attacks America's newest comedy troupe: House GOP GOP group hits Pence over Trump alleged business conflicts 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.