Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who dropped his bid for the White House last month, announced today that he’s backing Mitt Romney for president. Pawlenty first announced the endorsement on Fox and Friends this morning.
“Romney is running for president because he is deeply committed to our country, troubled by its current condition, and I believe he can turn it around,” Pawlenty wrote in an e-mail to supporters.
The move will help Romney more with campaign structure and prospective donors. Pawlenty spent months building a national campaign structure. The support never materialized in grass-roots support for Pawlenty but could help open up more connections to Romney.
Pawlenty will also serve as national co-chair to Mitt Romney.
The Pawlenty endorsement could also help Romney in Iowa, should the former governor of Massachusetts decide to make a play to win the Iowa Caucuses. Pawlenty had a strong network of donors and campaign staff in that state.
The move is also a slight to GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann since Pawlenty and Bachmann both hail from Minnesota.
Romney has been looking to reclaim momentum since Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the race. Perry has been leading in recent national polls.
Pawlenty’s announcement comes on the same day that the GOP candidates will meet in a debate in Florida. Pawlenty has been active in raising money in Florida since he’s been governor.
Here’s part of the e-mail from Pawlenty (full e-mail can be read here):
Romney is running for president because he is deeply committed to our country, troubled by its current condition, and I believe he can turn it around.
He’s formulated an economic plan-a set of alternatives to the government-oriented programs that Barack Obama has put in place-that is unparalleled in the history of American electoral campaigns. By pressing for fundamental change in the way that Washington taxes and spends, issues regulations, uses energy, interacts with our major trading partners, and deals with our labor force, he fully envisions a way to place America back on the path toward rapid economic growth and full employment.
And at his core, Mitt Romney is a man of great character. He and his wife Ann have been married for more than four decades. She is the love of his life. Together, they have five sons and sixteen grandchildren.
But he’s not only a family man, he is a man of principle. He believes in the bedrock conservative ideals of limited government and free enterprise. He will stand up for America’s allies when they are threatened, with fortitude. And he will face down our adversaries. He is a formidable person, and he will certainly be a formidable president. Our allies can count on it, and our enemies should expect it.
Crises indeed produces great leaders. Sometimes it just takes awhile.
I am proud to stand with Mitt. Will you join me?