Mitt Romney not endorsing Bill Bolling for Governor in Virginia Republican Primary

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Earlier today, Mitt Romney unintentionally made news when he seemed to endorse Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling’s campaign for governor of Virginia.

Speaking in Virginia, he called Bolling “a great friend and I hope the next governor of Virginia.” Unfortunately for Romney, Bolling is in a hotly contested primary (technically, a convention) battle against the Commonwealth’s conservative Attorney General.

Seeking to clarify, Romney’s team points out that he later said this:

“[W]e’re counting on you to make sure that when Bob McDonnell retires, I know this one term thing is an unusual thing in Virginia. We want to make sure to have a Republican take his place. There are a couple of guys in the race, I love them both. I want to see one of those guys take his place.” (Gov. Romney, Remarks To Overflow Crowd, Ashland, VA, 8/11/12)

It was smart of Romney to clarify. Why would he want to create a firestorm — and anger grassroots conservatives in an important state — on the day he announces his running mate? Walking this back was wise.

Note: A family member of mine previously worked for Bolling’s opponent.

Matt K. Lewis