Rauner says he's staying out of endorsing presidential candidates
No Republican presidential candidates will get an endorsement from Gov. Bruce Rauner anytime soon.
National hopefuls can benefit from the connections and clout of a local endorsement, but Rauner told reporters today he'll have no part of it.
"I am very clearly, specifically staying out of that," he said.
Rauner said he has six personal friends in the field, but didn't list all six.
"I'm pretty close to virtually all the governors," Rauner said.
So far, some top Illinois Republicans have stayed mum about their picks or have declined to get involved.
The biggest names: Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs is behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Channahon has endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Asked if having lots of friends in the race was why he wasn't endorsing, Rauner said: "There's lots of reasons, but that's one of them."
Governors in the race include Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Former governors include Bush, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Rick Perry of Texas, George Pataki of New York and Jim Gilmore of Virginia.
Among others running are business execs Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina, U.S. senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, former Sen. Rick Santorum and retired surgeon Ben Carson.