Endorsements For Republican 2016 Candidates Had Been Coming In Fast For Everybody But Mitt Romney

On Friday, Mitt Romney, previously known as the man who wouldn't give up, provided an "update" via conference call to supporters that he will now be retreating back home. Romney had a lot of trouble securing interest and endorsements among high-ranking members of the Republican Party — which might have been his downfall. We know media mogul Rupert Murdoch was not going to endorse Romney, referring to the veteran candidate as “terrible"— even going so far to call Mitt's last bid a “calamity” in a Wall Street Journal editorial.

The only official endorsement, in fact, came from Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania. In an interview on Newsmax, he said: “He's done it in the past, he can do it again." I'm not sure what he's referring to... Maybe Romney had the stamina for a race, but he lost. Twice. (You're not the only one grieving, Mike!)

But what do endorsements mean? And do they really matter? They're basically a political equivalent to a Facebook "like" — they're public for anyone to see, but they aren't too important. According to a January 2012 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, Republican voters didn't think that political endorsements were important in the presidential race.

Even if endorsements don't really matter, typically the former nominee is a heavyweight enforcer. For a while, it looked like the only man Romney would be behind is himself. But other prospective candidates aren't having the same trouble, instead getting some big names behind their campaigns. So here's what endorsements are looking like in the 2016 GOP field...

Jeb Bush

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The former Florida governor has already gotten the support of all living former Republican presidents (his dad and brother). In an interview with Candy Crowley on CNN, the most recent President Bush said: “He knows I want him to run." He finished with some heartfelt support: “If I need to reiterate it, I will: Run, Jeb. I think he'd be a great president."

Rudy Giuliani is also very optimistic about the prospect, saying in a FOX News interview, “I think Jeb Bush is the front-runner and the star of the field.”

Lindsey Graham

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The senator and foreign policy frontman has the backing of 2008 GOP nominee John McCain. They two are close friends, and McCain mentioned to reporters that he “strongly encouraged" Graham to run.

McCain is also very excited about how his colleague will perform in debates, saying “He'll shred 'em ... He will do wonderful. I don't want to raise expectations, but I'm confident."

Rand Paul

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Jeb probably isn't the only one getting support from a famous politician father. Ron Paul (who's run more times than Romney) will probably give his son a nod. Even though, in 2012, Rand famously endorsed Romney before his dad's campaign was officially over. Only a little awkward.

There are a lot of folks joining the race to the White House, and Mitt Romney's name has been erased. The 2016 GOP race appears to be a who's who of popular figures among the Republican ranks. Who is even left to endorse besides Romney? But the question now becomes: Who will Mitt endorse this season, if anyone?

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