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DALLAS - Former President George H.W. Bush told the Houston Chronicle he supports Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, rather than Texas Governor Rick Perry.

I think Romney is the best choice for us, Bush, 87, told the newspaper.

Romney has stability, experience and principles, the former president added, and is not a bomb-thrower.

I admit this is much more important to me personally than even politically, Romney said. He's a real hero to me and my family and I appreciate his support.

This is a slight of Governor Perry, said Allan Saxe, professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. There's no question about that.

Bush said he likes Perry, but he seems to have lost momentum.

He doesn't seem to be going anywhere, Bush continued.

It's uncertain if Bush's endorsement will really sway voters, but it could add up to cash for Romney's campaign.

Maybe there could be some big political donors on the sideline, and this would be a signal that this is who we're supporting, and it may loosen up a few more dollars as the primary begins to progress, Saxe said.

Romney visited Bush in Houston earlier this month.

Perry's campaign did not immediately respond to the endorsement.

The real Republican front runner won't emerge until the primaries get underway in the coming weeks.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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