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via Gage Skidmore

Since the early stages of the 2012 campaign, it’s been clear that Republicans just aren’t that into Mitt Romney. Although the former Massachusetts governor managed to stave off his less-than-inspiring field of opponents in the primaries, most right wingers seem to be merely tolerating Romney’s candidacy on the grounds of “at least he’s not Obama.”

Occassionally, they go ahead and say so explicitly. Here are five prominent Republicans who aren’t even pretending that they — or the nation — are about to fall in love with Romney:

Bob McDonnell

Last weekend, the Virginia governor told Alternet’s Adele M. Stan that he likes Romney’s chances — after all, “People are not gonna vote on who they like, or who sounds the best.”

Maybe that’s why he thought he could get away with forcing women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound before seeking abortions.

Chris Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has arguably been Mitt Romney’s most high-profile surrogate throughout the campaign, but that doesn’t mean that he expects Americans to catch Mitt fever. To wit, Christie said in a July speech:

“We shouldn’t be listening to political consultants whispering in our ears, ‘Say as little as possible,’ we shouldn’t be listening to those voices that say, ‘Just use the party doctrine and don’t stray.’ We should be telling people how we think and how we feel and let them judge us up or down,” Christie said. “You can’t lead by being a mystery. You can’t lead by being an enigma. You can’t lead by being aloof. You can’t lead by being programmed. I think you have to lead by being yourself and who you are and then people will trust you.”

Remind you of anyone?

Mitch Daniels

Photo via Republican Conference

After endorsing Romney, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels couldn’t even wait 24 hours before registering his disappointment with his party’s future nominee:

“You have to campaign to govern, not just to win,” he said. “. . . Spend the precious time and dollars explaining what’s at stake and a constructive program to make life better. And as I say, look at everything through the lens of folks who have yet to achieve.”

After a pause, Daniels added with disappointment: “Romney doesn’t talk that way.”

Newt Gingrich

Ambivalence actually represents a major improvement in the relationship between Newt and Mitt, who fought a bitterly negative primary battle before Gingrich dropped out of the race in May.

While he isn’t a big fan of Romney himself, Gingrich has come to terms with endorsing him. “”This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan,” Gingrich said after suspending his campaign. “This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical, leftist president in American history.”

Sarah Palin

Palin, who has said that Romney will not get into the White House unless he “lights his hair on fire,” recently explained that she hasn’t formally endorsed Romney because her preferred candidate is simply “anybody but Obama.

Like intra-party squabbling? Check out these lists of Republicans who want to see Mitt Romney’s tax returns.

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