John Boehner: I won’t endorse in 2012 GOP presidential primary


(Brendan Hoffman/GETTY IMAGES)

As the GOP’s presidential primary heats up, candidates have been working to secure endorsements from Capitol Hill. But House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) isn’t likely to be among the lawmakers taking sides in the White House race.

The Ohio Republican on Thursday told conservative commentator Laura Ingraham that he doesn’t plan to endorse a candidate in the primary.

“No, I don’t see that happening,” Boehner said when asked whether he plans to back a candidate before next summer’s Republican National Convention. “I think we’ve got a lot of good candidates. They’re out there presenting their ideas, and I think it’s important to allow those who show up in the Republican primary to choose the candidate of their choice.”

“Should the most conservative candidate win this?” Ingraham asked.

“I think I’ll let the Republican voters around the country choose who they think the best candidate is, because my focus is on getting my House team re-elected,” Boehner said. “Whoever the nominee is, I’m going to be there to support him and to move the country in a direction that we can get our economy going again, we can fix our broken tax system and deal with this debt problem.”

Mitt Romney this week was the latest candidate to visit Capitol Hill in an effort to round up support from lawmakers. The former Massachusetts governor huddled Wednesday with several dozen undecided House Republicans who grilled him on a range of issues.

According to a tally kept by The Hill, Romney has secured the most congressional endorsements to date in the GOP race. As of Oct. 18, the Massachusetts Republican had won the backing of 31 lawmakers. He was followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) with ten, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) with five and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) with three.

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