Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" Thursday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney despite his father Congressman Ron Paul's ongoing White House bid. Romney has clinched the 1,144 delegates needed for the Republican nomination, and Paul's father has suspended his campaign but is still pursuing delegates through the state process.
"Well, you know, my first choice had always been my father," Paul told conservative commentator Sean Hannity. "He is still my first pick, but now that the nominating process is over, tonight, I am happy to announce I am supporting Governor Romney."
The Romney campaign released the following statement (via Huffington Post):
"I am honored to have earned the endorsement of Rand Paul. Senator Paul has been a leading voice in the effort to scale back the size and reach of government and promote liberty. Over the past three and half years, President Obama has made government more and more of a presence in our lives, and Americans can’t afford four more years of the same failed policies. As president, I will reform the federal government and make it smaller, simpler, and smarter. I am grateful for Senator Paul’s support and look forward to working with him to get America back on the right track."
Earlier this year, however, Senator Paul said Romney was not be strong enough to beat President Obama in the fall.
“He supported the linchpin of ‘Obamacare’ — the individual mandate — and he supported the bank bailout,” he said. “All of these things wrapped together don’t make Romney a good opponent for Obama, either.”