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Florida Governor, Congressional GOP Leaders Hold Back On Candidate Endorsements

First Posted: 01/29/2012 11:05 am Updated: 01/29/2012 11:42 am

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and congressional Republican leaders criticized the tone of the presidential primary campaign on Sunday morning, but declined to throw their weight behind specific candidates.

Looking at the latest polls, Gov. Scott, a former business executive who rode the Tea Party wave into Florida's highest office in 2010, told CNN's "State of the Union" that "it sure looks like Governor Romney's going to win."

But when asked whether his earlier comments -- in which he criticized Newt Gingrich's choice to hit Mitt Romney over his career as a venture capitalist -- amounted to an endorsement of the former Massachusetts governor, Scott hedged. He started launching another criticism before stopping mid-sentence and turning to the only issue he believes should matter in Florida: jobs.

"I just think they shouldn't be doing all that -- the free market creates jobs," he said. "It's good to have somebody who has a business background." Pressed on which candidate has the best jobs plan, he answered, "They all have plans...but that's not what they're talking about, and that's what the public wants."

On "Fox News Sunday," Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) likewise kept mum on which candidate he is supporting. He instead insisted that it is the Republican field's duty to "defend the morality of the free enterprise system of upward mobility." Alluding to former House Speaker Gingrich's "King of Bain" attacks on Romney, Ryan said, "it's the heat of battle and they're saying things they probably shouldn't be saying to each other."

And on ABC's "This Week," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) brushed off questions about his endorsements in the rough-and-tumble primary by saying, "you know I'm not going to talk about the presidential primary process. This primary process will take care of itself."

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