Rand Paul endorses Romney, but dad ‘still my first pick'

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky endorsed Mitt Romney for president Thursday night, but he made clear he'd prefer someone else.

"My first choice had always been my father. I campaigned for him when I was 11-years-old. He's still my first pick," the tea party favorite told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "But now that the nominating process is over, tonight I'm happy to announce that I'm going to be supporting Gov. Mitt Romney."

Paul's father, Texas congressman Ron Paul, suspended his active campaign operation last month, but is still pursuing delegates so he can have an influence at the GOP nominating convention in August.

Paul noted in the Fox interview that Romney's father, George, also fell short in a presidential bid in 1968.

Romney said in a statement on his campaign website that he was "honored" by the endorsement and called Rand Paul "a leading voice in the effort to scale back the size and reach of government and promote liberty."

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