McDonnell hints he may not endorse in GOP primary
With polls continuing to show Virginia as one of, if not the most, competitive states in the 2012 presidential election, Gov. Bob McDonnell remains in a powerful position.
The popular republican governor is at or near the top of most lists of potential candidates for Vice President and his endorsement could help boost the campaign of one of the current republican candidates for president. McDonnell has consistently said two things: one- that he prefers a governor as the eventual nominee and two- he wouldn’t even consider an endorsement until after the Virginia legislative elections.
With the Virginia statehouse races decided, the only thing stopping the governor from picking a candidate is himself. It would make sense that he would want to maximize this unique position. Depending on when and who he endorses it could go a long way to boosting his chances to be picked as someone’s running mate in addition to helping a candidate in the Virginia primary.
Virginia’s primary isn’t until Super Tuesday, March 6th. The unsettled GOP field could easily not be decided until then, meaning McDonnell’s decision could play a powerful role in helping his choice.
But McDonnell needs to be careful. Picking the wrong candidate could force him out the VP running all together and today the governor hinted that he may not endorse at all.
“If I feel compelled to make an endorsement I will,” McDonnell said. “Right now I am passionately neutral and am watching from afar.”
McDonnell reiterated his preference for a governor and made note of the three former state CEO’s still in the race, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman. He said governors are forced to possess decision-making skills currently lacking in Washington.
“Indecisiveness, a lack of leadership, not balancing budgets, not being straight about what we can afford, I think governors have to do that,” he said. “That is what I have to do and when I hear Governor Romney, Governor Perry, Governor Huntsman, that is what they are saying.”
McDonnell huddled with Huntsman after the former Utah governor held a breakfast fundraiser this morning in Richmond. McDonnell said that he had only met Huntsman one other time. He didn’t reveal much of what they discussed.
“He was in town and we had a nice little meeting.”
I asked Governor McDonnell about his presidential pick during a press conference announcing his proposal for higher ed funding in his upcoming budget. You can read more about that on NBC12.com.
The full clip from McDonnell’s remarks on the GOP primary can be found below: