McConnnell: Romney Will Be The Nominee

The Republican establishment continues to send the message that Mitt Romney is the inevitable nominee:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still hasn’t endorsed Republican presidential front runner Mitt Romney, even as other party leaders begin to coalesce behind him.

But the Kentucky Republican signaled on Sunday that Romney is almost certain to be his party’s pick to take on President Barack Obama in the November election.

“I think he is an excellent candidate, and the chances are overwhelming that he will be our nominee.  It seems to me we are in the final phases of wrapping up this nomination,” McConnell said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“And most of the members of the Senate Republican Conference are either supporting him, or they have the view that I do that it’s time to turn the attention to the fall campaign and make the case against the president of the United States,” McConnell added. “”It is in the best interest of our party to get behind the person who is obviously going to be our nominee and make the case against the president of the United States.”

As if to confirm that McConnell said, over on NBC Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson became the latest Washington politician to endorse Romney:

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) endorsed Mitt Romney on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, two days before a primary in Johnson’s home state that Romney hopes will help him to finally lock up the nomination.

“This is nothing negative about the other candidates. It’s just a recognition of the fact that Governor Romney has won more delegates. He’s the only person that really has a chance to take the winning number of delegates into the convention,” said the Wisconsin senator. “We have seven months before the election. Our top priority as fiscal conservatives is to make sure President Obama retires.”


Johnson said that extending the primary all the way to the Republican National Convention in August would hurt the GOP by keeping the focus off the general election. “It’s time to end this so we can spend the next seven months pointing out that President Obama has failed to lead,” he said.

If Romney pulls off a Maryland-D.C.-Wisconsin trifecta on Tuesday, which seems likely, I would expect to see more leading Republicans falling in line and putting pressure on Santorum and Gingrich to at least tone down their attacks on the party’s nominee.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. An Interested Party says:

    Ahh, but how confident does McConnnell feel about Romney being able to fullfill the single most important thing that McConnell wants to achieve…

  2. CSK says:

    Santorum’s beginning to remind me of Captain Ahab.

  3. An Interested Party says:

    Well, Gingrich has always reminded me of a big, fat white whale…

  4. al-Ameda says:

    McConnell’s statement practically defines the expression, “waking up with a hangover.”
    I wonder if Mitch was aware of what he was saying?

  5. merl says:

    What does it say about him that no one wants to endorse him except for the criminal Bush family and other unimportant people? Obama is going to crush him. Has crybaby Boner endorsed him yet?

  6. CSK says:

    So I guess that leaves Ron Paul to be Ishmael.

  7. Ron Beasley says:

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I wonder if Mitch is as sure about his own political future with the teabaggers nipping at his heals.

  8. Kylopod says:

    I’m kind of fascinated by the fact that several of the recent “endorsements,” including Ron Johnson’s above, are some of the most tepid presidential endorsements I’ve ever seen: they’re basically saying, “We should accept him as the nominee because it’s already over,” which is not, as they say, a ringing endorsement.

  9. PJ says:

    Mitt Romney has a gender gap problem.

  10. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares? Even the MSM cannot force itself to care about the Republican primary season anymore. Everyone knows that President Obama will be re-elected and the establishment Republicans are so convinced that the viability of any conservative party in the U.S. is so limited that they have already started to hit the door and trying to find a way to remain relevant in the coming one party state.

    Maybe by Jan 2017, Historians will agree that the real legacy of the Bush family is the U.S. becoming a one party state and the end of conservative politics in the U.S.