Lukewarm’s better than, er, lukecold, I guess. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

So ABC News reported Tuesday.

That’s a strange sentence.

It’s amazing how much air you can take out of any announcement by inserting “as the elevator doors closed.”

“Give me liberty or give me death,” said Patrick Henry, as the elevator doors closed.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” said Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as the elevator doors closed.

“I have a dream this afternoon that the brotherhood of man will become a reality in this day,” said Martin Luther King Jr., as the elevator doors closed.

It creates a certain vacuum.

Poor Mitt Romney. He just cannot get a full-throated endorsement. Really enthusiastic Romney endorsers are rarer than the unicorn.

To say that most Romney endorsers have been tepid is to say that lukewarm bathwater is tepid.

“Tepid Romney endorsement,” as a phrase, is redundant. All Romney endorsements sound tepid. That is what makes them Romney endorsements.

Butter wouldn’t melt on most of these endorsements.

“We face huge challenges, and we need a leader who understands the economy, recognizes more government regulation is not the answer, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism and works to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed,” said Jeb Bush, in a statement. Just read that aloud if you are in a room where it is uncomfortably warm.

In general, the only thing that unites all Romney endorsers is that they are people whom Americans like less than Mitt Romney. Christine O’Donnell. Donald Trump. Rick Santorum. Don’t overwhelm me here. Only recently has Romney started snowballing among Actual Party Figures like Mitch Daniels and Jeb Bush – and now, George W., before the elevator got him.

“The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Governor Romney and I have some differences. But there are many significant areas in which we agree. . . . 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,” Rick Santorum wrote – in an e-mail to his supporters. Talk about tepid. You couldn’t take a bath in that endorsement. It would be uncomfortable. Your extremities would turn blue.

It’s so bad that Yahoo News has a contest for Most Tepid Romney endorsement. It’s ongoing, and the competition is fierce.

Now here’s George W. Bush, saying “I’m for Mitt Romney” as the elevator doors closed.

There’s that sinking feeling again. And it’s probably not the elevator.