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Eric Cantor, House majority leader, backs Mitt Romney for president

March 04, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). (Mark Wilson / Getty Images )

Eric Cantor, the second-ranking Republican in the House, threw his support behind Mitt Romney just days before the marquee day of the GOP presidential nominating race -- Super Tuesday.

The House majority leader and Virginia congressman said Romney was the party's best candidate on what is likely the central 2012 campaign issue: the economy.

"Mitt Romney is the only candidate in the race who's put forward a bold, pro-growth, pro-jobs plan for the future," Cantor said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday. "A lot of the things that he's talking about in his plan we're working on in the House."

Cantor is the latest in a growing list of establishment Republicans backing the former Massachusetts governor. He's the most senior Republican in Congress to make a public endorsement in the primary fight.

Asked if he would consider serving as Romney's vice president, Cantor said he was "not open" to that and looked forward to continuing to serve in his current post under a Republican president.

Cantor said he had already cast a ballot for Romney in the Virginia primary through early voting, and expects him to win all of the state's delegates. He also downplayed Romney's struggles in the campaign, saying Republicans will continue to rally around him as they become more familiar with his economic plan.

Forty-nine delegates are at stake in Virginia on Tuesday, making it the fourth-biggest prize on Super Tuesday. Only Romney and Rep. Ron Paul are on the ballot, and a new NBC-Marist poll shows Romney is likely to score an easy victory.

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the House speaker, has not endorsed anyone in the primary.

michael.memoli@latimes.com
twitter.com/mikememoli

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