Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Iowa Republican kingmaker Rep. Steve King once again declined to make an endorsement ahead of his state's Tuesday caucuses, but he did handicap the 2012 race.
The five-term congressman, who represents a heavily Republican district in Northwest Iowa, told CNN's Soledad O'Brien Monday that the perfect GOP candidate would have traits from each of the current contenders competing in the Hawkeye State.
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"We don't have a perfect candidate," King said Monday on CNN's "Starting Point." "We could make a perfect candidate out of the candidates that are there … it isn't all embodied in one."
He praised Mitt Romney's executive experience, Newt Gingrich's understanding of government, Ron Paul's support for the constitution and Rick Santorum's family values. King also praised fellow representative and friend Michele Bachmann, who he said "checks all of the boxes for me."
"She gets all of these pieces right," King said, before adding that "the traction in the campaign is harder, and that's kind of where it stands."
But he is still holding out on endorsement.
"It would have been really nice to have had that epiphany and made that endorsement," King said. "It has to be a conviction. Until then, I'm not able to do that."