Rudy Giuliani was full of praise for Mitt Romney on CNN over the weekend. But, even so, America’s mayor couldn’t resist contrasting his own record running New York to Romney’s as Massachusetts governor. “He had a reduction in unemployment of about 8,10 percent — I think it was 15 percent,” Giuliani said when asked about shots he took at Mitt when running against him for the 2008 GOP nomination. “I had a reduction of unemployment of 50 percent. He had a growth of jobs of about 40,000; we had a growth of jobs of about 500,000. So I was comparing what I thought was my far superior record to his otherwise decent record.” It’s tempting to chalk this up to Giuliani’s egomania, but more likely it’s something about the GOP candidate. After all, Rudy is only the latest in a long line of prominent Republicans who’ve tried to endorse Mitt but…couldn’t…quite…do…it. Here, ten of our favorites.
Newt Gingrich: “He is a great organizer, he is a very methodical person, he is prepared to systematically do what he thinks is right for the country,” Gingrich said on MSNBC last week. “I think he might turn out to make a surprisingly good president.”
Rick Santorum: “Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.” Weeks after dropping out of the presidential race in April, Santorum finally got around to endorsing Romney — in the 13th paragraph of an e-mail to supporters sent out in the dead of night.
George H.W. Bush: “We’ve known Mitt for a very long time [and] he’s the man to do this job and get on and win the presidency,” said the former president. “It’s time for people to all get behind this good man.”
George Pataki: “Now Mitt is not a perfect candidate,” the former New York governor said in March. “He has a number of problems. It’s hard for blue-collar families like mine to identify with him. It’s hard for economic conservatives to identify with him. He needs to do more to reach out to the Latinos. But I think he has the focus on that and on defeating President Obama as opposed to winning the next primary in the next state, and it’s time to do that.
George W. Bush: “I’m for Mitt Romney,” Bush told reporters, just as the doors of an elevator slid shut on him.
Mitch Daniels: “Mitt Romney has earned our party’s nomination and now deserves the support of every American still committed to government that serves the people rather than rules over them,” the Indiana governor, who briefly flirted with a run himself, said in a statement in April. But just a day later, Daniels told a reporter for the Indianapolis Star, “You have to campaign to govern, not just to win. Spend the precious time and dollars explaining what’s at stake and a constructive program to make life better. And as I say, look at everything through the lens of folks who have yet to achieve. Romney doesn’t talk that way.”
Rep. Lamar Smith: “Both candidates have impressive records of creating jobs and controlling spending in their home states,” the Texas congressman said last October. “My support of Gov. Romney does not lessen my regard for Gov. Perry.”
Grover Norquist: “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States,” the tax activist said, making the case for Romney at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February.
Pat Robertson: “You don’t have Jesus running against somebody else. You have Obama running against Romney,” the Evangelical leaders said earlier this month after interviewing Romney on his show, The 700 Club.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter: Dropping his own presidential bid last fall, the Michigan Republican called Romney “the most electable candidate.”