In what may be the final face-off in the Ticket's Romney tepid endorsement playoffs, we're pitting former President George W. Bush against three-time champion Mitch Daniels for the title. Bush, asked for his position on the election by ABC News after a speech in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, merely stated that "I'm for Mitt Romney." In a poetic touch, he said so just as the door of the elevator he was riding closed.
The former president has been conspicuously absent from the GOP nomination process, and his brother Jeb was less than effusive in his statement of support for Romney two months ago. (Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, lost in the first round of the original tepid endorsement bracket to Tex. Rep. Lamar Smith.) While his statement today was not as backhanded as original champion George Pataki's or current titlist Mitch Daniels, we're counting his overall lack of praise for Romney to date as its own sort of tepidity.
Vote below. Results will be announced Thursday.
All Tepid Romney Endorsements:
"I'm for Mitt Romney, " Bush told ABC News Tuesday morning as the doors of an elevator closed on him.
—Former President George W. Bush, May. 15, 2012
"Now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Gov. Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall."
—Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mar. 21, 2012
"With all due respect to my fellow conservative leaders determined to oppose Gov. Romney, that is not a worthy endeavor. For the sake of our Republic, I'm not willing to wait until the Republican National Convention to sort this out. It's time to unite behind a worthy presidential candidate, build our organization and raise the resources necessary to defeat the liberal electoral machine."
—American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas, Mar. 26, 2012
"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... You don't change one thing about the policies you advocate or your principles... It's not complicated. But for some reason sometimes candidates just miss that."
—Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Apr. 19, 2012
"While I also admire his opponents, it is now clear that Mitt Romney is the candidate most able to defeat Barack Obama in November. This election is too important to lose and that's why I urge my fellow Republicans to join me in supporting Mitt Romney."
—Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Mar. 26, 2012
"I'm asked sometimes, Is Mitt Romney conservative? And my answer is simple: Compared to Barack Obama? This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan. This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical leftist president in history."
—Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, May. 2, 2012
"I believe it is now time for our party to unite around the candidate best equipped to defeat Barack Obama. Despite our differences and the space between us on some of the issues, I believe that candidate is Gov. Mitt Romney."
—Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jan. 16, 2012