Former President George H.W. Bush Backing Mitt Romney

Former President George H.W. Bush is backing Mitt Romney for president, calling him the "best choice" in an interview with the Houston Chronicle published Thursday.

"I think Romney is the best choice for us," said Bush to the Chronicle this week. "I like Perry, but he doesn't seem to be going anywhere; he’s not surging forward." He added, "I just think he's mature and reasonable--not a bomb-thrower," later denying that the field included any bomb-throwers and repeating that he liked Texas Gov. Rick Perry too.

"I want to see Obama beaten," Bush said. "I just don't believe Ron Paul can get the nomination." On former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Bush said, "I'm not his biggest advocate."

Bush said he had been holding back on an official endorsement for "no particular reason."

Bush and his wife, Barbara, said that if their son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, did not run, then they would back Romney in November 2010 on CNN. "We like Mitt Romney. We know him well and like him very much," he said.

Romney met with George H.W. Bush Dec. 1 in Houston.

Bush's vice president, Dan Quayle, has also endorsed Romney.