George H.W. Bush Praises Romney for 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) AP

Former President George H.W. Bush says former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is currently his favorite potential Republican presidential contender.

When asked about potential 2012 candidates in an interview that aired on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Monday night, Mr. Bush said he would back his son Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, but the younger Bush is not interested in running.

"If you asked me who will the nominee be, I couldn't tell you," Mr. Bush told Larry King. "We like Mitt Romney. We know him well and like him very much."

Mr. Bush said he did not want to "kill him off" by suggesting Romney is a moderate candidate, but he said Romney is a "a reasonable guy, conservative fella, which is good. But I think he'd be a good president, a very good president."

The former president added he and his wife Barbara Bush have yet to meet other potential candidates, such as Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Barbara Bush added that she thought Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal or Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour could make good candidates. Pundits have speculated over the possible presidential ambitions of both Barbour and Jindal.

Mrs. Bush added, "I like a lot of them, but I like people who feel you can respect other people's ideas."

In a segment of the interview that was released earlier, Mrs. Bush said that possible presidential contender Sarah Palin seems "very happy in Alaska." She added, "I hope she'll stay there."

A recent Quinnipiac poll showed that, out of a handful of potential 2012 GOP candidates, Romney fares the best against President Obama in a hypothetical match-up.



Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.