The presumptive Republican nominee called Bolling “a great friend and, I hope, the next governor of Virginia” at a rally in Ashland with this newly announced running mate,Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Romney backpedaled later, apparently after he was reminded that Bolling has a serious primary opponent in Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), who just happens to be a favorite of the Tea Party voters Romney hopes to energize with Ryan.
“And we’re counting on you to make sure that when [Governor] Bob McDonnell retires — I know this one-term thing is an unusual thing in Virginia — we want to make sure to have a Republican take his place,” Romney told the overflow crowd he addressed after the main rally. “There are a couple of guys in the race. I love them both. I want to see one of those guys take his place.”
The day started off with some angry chatter from Bolling folks on Twitter about how Ryan was a terrible choice (b/c it wasn't McD) and saw their only means of becoming governor vanish before their eyes. Bolling has been Romney's chairman in Virginia since 2007, what does it say about his political standing that Romney won't give him a full endorsement, and even when he comes close he walks it back later in the day without the Cuccinelli campaign saying a word?