Former President George H.W. Bush has given an "unofficial" endorsement to Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
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"I think Romney is the best choice for us," Mr. Bush told the Houston Chronicle. He then addressed a fellow Texan in the presidential race, Gov. Rick Perry. "I like Perry, but he doesn't seem to be going anywhere; he's not surging forward."
A spokesman for Mr. Bush tells CBS News his expression of support for Mitt Romney should be viewed as an "unofficial" endorsement. The spokesman says Mr. Obama "expressed his preference" when asked by a reporter.
The spokesman says there will be no press release or press conference for the 87-year-old former president to announce an official endorsement.
Jim Appleby, an aide to the former president, told CBS News of the comments: "It is not an endorsement. It is a personal feeling toward Governor Romney."
Appleby said the former president was at lunch yesterday with "a couple of friends from the Chronicle" and agreed to answer their questions on the record. He also said Mr. Bush is not ramping up for a formal endorsement.
"The article kind of speaks for itself," he said.
Caroline Horn and Peter Maer