House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appears ready—maybe even this week—to finally recognize Mitt Romney as the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee.
Boehner still declined on Monday night to endorse the former Massachusetts governor, responding only with a smile and a shrug when asked about timing.
When further pressed about the holdup, he responded cryptically, "Talking about it,” before slipping into the House chamber.
The House’s No. 2 and 3 Republicans—Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.—have already endorsed Romney.
House sources say Boehner has been leaning on his upcoming role as chairman of the Republican National Convention in August as the reasoning for his continued silence.
As chairman of the Aug. 27-30 event, he must preside over procedures and potential technical challenges to proceedings. He therefore has claimed reluctance to stray from strict neutrality, as long as former Speaker Newt Gingrich remains in the race.
“Nothing to announce on this,” was all that Boehner spokesman Michael Steel would say on Monday when asked if there were any discussions, meetings, or outreach under way with the Romney camp.