Former President George H.W. Bush is throwing his support behind Mitt Romney for the 2012 presidential race, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.
Though falling short of an official endorsement, the move could undoubtedly be seen as blow to his fellow Texan, Gov. Rick Perry, less than two weeks out from the Iowa caucuses. Bush said he's known Romney for many years and knew his father George Romney, a former governor of Michigan.
"I think Romney is the best choice for us," Bush told the newspaper. “I like Perry, but he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere; he’s not surging forward.”
Bush said he supports Romney because of the former Massachusetts governor's "stability, experience, principles."
"He’s a fine person." he said. "I just think he’s mature and reasonable – not a bomb-thrower."
According to the Chronicle, Bush denied he was implying that the GOP field includes any bomb-throwers.
"I’ve got to be a little careful, because I like Perry, he’s our governor," he said.
In 2010, Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush endorsed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison over Perry in the Republican gubernatorial primary.
Bush didn't have the kindest words for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, telling the newspaper, "I’m not his biggest advocate."
According to the Boston Globe, a Romney adviser said of the Bush backing, "It’s real. Totally." The adviser said Romney visited the Bushes a month and a half ago to "shoot the breeze."
This post has been updated since it was first published.