Rand Paul endorses Mitt Romney for president

WASHINGTON — As Ron Paul continues to pursue delegates in the hopes of gaining influence at the GOP convention in August, his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, says he’s backing Mitt Romney for president.

“My first choice had always been my father,” Paul told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday. “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 Governor Mitt Romney.”

Paul said he thinks he “can be an asset in solidifying the conservative base of the party,” and that he will campaign for Romney.

“I also think that myself, my father and the movement that he started attracts a lot of independents,” Paul said. “A lot of these young people aren’t necessarily the conservative base.”

Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who challenged Romney for the nomination, suspended his campaign for the White House last month but continues to pursue delegates to the August convention. Paul has said he will not seek another term in Congress, but his son’s political future appears to have only just begun.

Rand Paul is a favorite of the tea party movement and the heir to his father’s Libertarian-minded movement. His name has also been floated as a possible, though unlikely, choice as Romney’s running mate. Romney said in a statement on his website that he was “honored” to have Paul’s endorsement.

“Sen. 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 Sen. Paul’s support and look forward to working with him to get America back on the right track.”

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