In a story today about how the Republican elite are increasingly looking to Mitt Romney as the candidate to beat President Obama, the New York Times includes a tidbit about Tim Pawlenty.
The story says Pawlenty’s endorsement of Romney on Monday “signals the beginning of an effort by some party leaders to try to slow the ascent of Mr. Perry — or to push him to explain positions that are considered provocative.”
But late in the story is the line:
Mr. Romney was quick to embrace the endorsement from Mr. Pawlenty — aides to Mr. Perry conceded that they, too, had pursued it — but it remained an open question what effect, if any, it would have on the campaign.
And it notes that Pawlenty is already hitting the bricks for Romney:
In a campaign appearance in South Carolina on Monday, Mr. Pawlenty described Mr. Romney as the “most capable, most electable, most knowledgeable candidate by far in the race.” Those words were not always how Mr. Pawlenty characterized Mr. Romney. He had criticized Mr. Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan, referring to the program as “Obamneycare.”
But since Mr. Pawlenty ended his candidacy on Aug. 14, he has talked frequently to Mr. Romney. The two men, along with their wives, spent an evening together recently at Mr. Romney’s home in New Hampshire.
The story also says that Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has endorsed Perry.