Today, that was confirmed.
In an early morning interview on Fox News, the popular Governor of the increasingly important early primary state made it official and declared her support for Mitt Romney for President.
In her endorsement, Haley praised Romney as being a business leader who understands the economy, knows how to create jobs, and has the vision and ability to turn our nation around. Governor Haley said that while no candidate is perfect, Romney happens to be the best person for the times we are in.
The endorsement is probably the most significant one to be bestowed upon any of the Republican presidential candidates to date and deals a pretty big blow to his competitors, especially frontrunner Newt Gingrich.
In addition to being a favorite influential figure within the TEA movement, a group of people Romney needs help with, Nikki Haley is a very popular Governor of the Palmetto State and in addition to her giving Romney some TEA Party credentials, her support gives Mitt Romney unprecedented access to the state Party organization of South Carolina. While Haley’s endorsement of Romney does not constitute an endorsement by the South Carolina G.O.P. or any of its county organizations, it does essentially put the Governor’s controlling share of the state Party apparatus behind Romney. Such organizational support will help make a big difference on primary day in South Carolina.
Currently, South Carolina is where Newt Gingrich has his largest campaign organization. it is there that Newt is hoping to pull off a win that will bring clarity to any mottled decision that comes out of Iowa and New Hampshire and catapult Newt to a win in Florida and the upper hand in the nomination process.
While this is certainly not out of the question, Haley’s endorsement of Mitt Romney did just make the question mark much bolder.
One thing this endorsement certainly does though is show how the early strategic groundwork of Mitt Romney’s long campaign for president is beginning to pay off. In the year’s leading up to this year’s election, Romney had been criscrossing the country to support candidates all over on the state and county level in their own election and reelection efforts
So this endorsement comes as no surprise to Romney. It has been known that it was coming for more than a year now. It is an endorsement that Romney planned for long ago when he supported Nikki Haley in her primary contest for the gubernatorial nomination and when his PAC, Free and Strong America PAC donated to Haley’s campaign. It was all a part of a Romney strategy that was created long ago.
What is interesting though is the timing of the endorsement.
It comes on the heels of last night’s Republican debate in which Newt Gingrich seemed to have stolen the thunder. Having Haley endorse him this morning was designed to try to take some of that thunder back.
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