WASHINGTON — Tim Pawlenty, who dropped his bid for the presidency last month, threw his support behind Mitt Romney Monday morning, saying the former Massachusetts governor “possesses the unique qualifications to confront and master our severe economic predicament.”
“President Obama has failed to meet America’s economic challenges. … Fortunately, America may get a second chance: Mitt Romney is running for president, and I am proud to endorse him,” said Pawlenty in an email message sent out by the Romney campaign.
“[Romney] believes in the bedrock conservative ideals of limited government and free enterprise,” he continued. “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.”
“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.”
Pawlenty dropped out of the presidential race on Aug. 14 after coming in third in the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa. He criticized the health-care program passed in Massachusetts while Romney was governor, comparing it to President Obama’s plan and calling it “Obamneycare.” He was criticized by Republicans in June for backing down from aggressively confronting Romney during one of the debates.
Since dropping out, Pawlenty has given hints that he may endorse Romney, saying he believes the former governor could attract the support of “independents and conservative Democrats” in a general election.
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