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Mitt Romney Picks Up Key Endorsements After Santorum Exits

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 4/11/12 11:07 AM

National, Politics

Former governor Mitt Romney is not yet the Republican nominee but the inevitability factor is at a high level now that his main opponent for the right to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama, Rick Santorum, has suspended his campaign.

Romney quickly picked up the endorsement of top Republicans yesterday and today after Santorum exited the campaign.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a pro-life advocate who had been a strong supporter of Rick Perry, got on board with Romney.

“Congratulations to Governor Romney on winning a hard fought race, I look forward to supporting him in retiring President Obama,” Jindal said in a statement.

He added, “I’d also like to congratulate Senator Santorum for running a strong race and for making the difficult decision to step aside at this time. It’s time for all Republicans to focus their energies on the fall campaign which will give Americans a fundamental choice between Obama’s lurch toward European style big government and the Republican alternative of a thriving private sector with a smaller government.”

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who is also pro-life, announced yesterday that he’ll be backing the former Massachusetts governor.

“Today, I am enthusiastically endorsing Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president. In Mitt Romney, Americans will have a clear contrast with President Obama in November,” Branstad said in a statement. “Gov. Romney is committed to cut out-of-control spending, unleash the private sector to create jobs, and ensure that future generations have the opportunities we have enjoyed due to the American free enterprise system.”

He said he had waited to endorse until it became clear who the nominee would be to face Obama.

“I purposefully withheld my endorsement until now because I wanted my focus to be on uniting the Republican Party going into the fall,” he said. “Once again, Iowa did its job in winnowing the field. The top four finishers in the Iowa caucuses remain the four candidates in the race. Now, more than three months later and after a vigorous campaign, I believe the time has come to coalesce around one candidate.”

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Less than an hour after Santorum left the GOP race, pro-life Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the only statewide official in Florida still withholding an endorsement, issued a statement supporting Romney.

“There is no question that Rick Santorum ran a hard fought campaign.  I commend his passion and his willingness to put the best interest of our party and nation first,” he said. “Mitt Romney will be our party’s nominee and it is critical that all Republicans coalesce behind Governor Romney and focus on electing him as President so he can put the policies in place to create jobs, turn our economy around and get federal spending under control.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, another pro-life advocate, also climbed on board.

“Rick Santorum has run an amazing campaign which exceeded all expectations.  He should be very proud of all he and his supporters have accomplished.  Rick has shown great passion for fiscal and social conservatism.  Most importantly to me, he has also been the most consistent candidate on national security as he fully embraced Ronald Reagan’s model of ‘Peace through Strength,” he said. “Now is the time to get behind Mitt Romney as our presidential nominee so that every corner of the Republican Party is united.  Our party must aggressively pursue the conservative Democrats and independents needed to ensure Barack Obama is a one-term president.  America cannot afford another four years of Barack Obama.”