(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, tea party favorite and son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, officially endorsed Mitt Romney late Thursday night.
"My first choice had always been my father. I campaigned for him when I was 11-years-old. He's still my first pick, but now that the nominating process is over, tonight I'm happy to announce that I'm going to be supporting Gov. Mitt Romney," Rand Paul said on Fox News.
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His announcement came one day after his father acknowledged he would not become the Republican nominee, despite maintaining for months that he would stay in the fight for the White House.
Ron Paul ended his official campaign events weeks ago, but has not technically suspended his candidacy and will have delegates at the Republican National Convention in August.
The endorsement from Rand Paul, who won his 2010 Senate bid with strong tea party support, could be a boost for Romney as the candidate attempts to shore up different factions of the Republican Party, including Ron Paul's vocal and active supporters.
Asked why he was throwing his voice behind Romney, Rand Paul listed off a number of ways his family values and family history line up with that of Romney–including the fact that both he and the candidate have fathers who ran for president. Romney’s father, the late George Romney, served as Michigan governor and was a presidential candidate in 1968.
The senator then went on to talk about policies, saying he met with Romney recently in Washington and discussed the candidate's support for reforming the Federal Reserve, limiting regulations, and opposing the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The proposed legislation, which failed to garner enough support in the Senate, called for expanded federal power online in preventing internet piracy.
"I think there's a lot of kinship between us on those issues," he said.
Romney responded Thursday night to the endorsement, saying in a statement he was "honored" to have the senator's backing.
"Senator Paul has been a leading voice in the effort to scale back the size and reach of government and promote liberty," Romney said. "I am grateful for Senator Paul's support and look forward to working with him to get America back on the right track."
– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
Rand is a SELL OUT. This will not hinder the Ron Paul Revolution.
Kissing the hands of the emperor with no clothes... Rand you are a sellout... you and Jesse Benton are a shame to the Libertarian movement...
Is this real? I guess Rand doesn't have the guts his father does. At a time when I am still trying to decide what I think of him, this is somewhat concerning.
Gov. Robme is not a leader. He is a puppet of the 1%. Corporations are taking over America. Arizona's top corporate ceo from Freeport-McMoran, Richard Adkerson, made $82,000,000 in 2011. I thought we were in a recession.
sell out lol
Thanks Rand now lets go to work!!
Will Rand Paul and Mitt Romney (or even Obama) attempt to scale back the size and reach of the government's war-mongering-stance and promote liberty around the world ? How about making the Federal Reserve transparent ? How about avoiding the use of drones in potentially monitoring US citizens in USA ? How about a sound money policy ? How about the erosion of our civil liberties ? Rand Paul is not Ron Paul and it appears America may not ever have another Ron Paul. Still, in 2012 federal election write in Ron Paul or vote for Gary Jonhnson.
Wow....I'm just in compete shock....And crushed....I'm still only supporting Ron, if Ron is not nominated at the convention, i'm done. Not enough people care about the truth.
What!!!!???? I'm shocked.
I can't support Rand anymore.
Who Cares ! Romney's going to be a loser just like Paul !
LOL. Now all he needs is an endorsement from Christine O'Donell on the way to Oz . . .
Big Deal like Rand Paul Endorsed Mitt Romney, Who Cares. Rand Paul Is a No body but a Tea Party Puppet.
Even rotten apples fall far from the tree.
Well, you certainly didn't expect him to endorse Barack Obama did you? Well that would have been a hoot though.
The GOP have finely found their Manchurian Candidate in Romney. The end of America is upon us.
Ran Paul: a traitor to the cause of liberty.
If Ron follows suit then I will lose all faith in everything.
Rand Paul; a traitor to the cause of liberty.
He better have some kind of secret plan for this move, because millions of people are ready to spit on his name.
NOW THERE'S A SURPRISE... NOT. All news should come to a grinding halt over this announcement.
Ron Paul is an officer and a gentleman who proudly served his country in both the United States Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard while Mitt Romney was hiding out in France sipping wine and eating cheese.
Romney, Romney's father and Romney's sons have all avoided service in our armed forces during war. Mitt dodged the draft during Viet Nam claiming deferment on religious grounds. How could he ever be commander and chief. No VET should vote for Romney.
Possible scenario is uplifting to the movement for Liberty. Ron is and will continue to push the ideas, and Rand is not solidified in the party to do the work from within the party. The Liberty movement is now too large to stop, it will flourish no matter how pissed off the movement is at the endorsement. The movement may not fully understand the move as setting the table for continued success and power of the movement.
Rand for VP, maybe, not likely
Ron for Treasury Secretary? pretty good chance.
Continued acceptance of the prinipled governemnt that the Liberty movement demands? no question.
Just another reason why I will NEVER vote for Romney, he courts the real whackos out there and Rand Paul leads the pack. What a sorry excuse for a Senator.
the apple fell from the tree and rolled all the way down the hill.