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On Eve of SC Primary, Gov. McDonnell Endorses Mitt Romney for President

Virginia governor will campaign for Romney in South Carolina Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

After his good friend Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the presidential race Thursday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell officially endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Friday morning, on the eve of the South Carolina primary.

"I'm delighted to be endorsing him," McDonnell said. "It's the right time, the first primary in a Southern state."

"There were a lot of factors, but it's the right time to get out front and support who I think is the right person to beat President Obama," McDonnell said in a phone interview with reporters. McDonnell was in New York for economic development meetings and planned to fly to South Carolina to campaign for Romney at 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday morning, the day of the primary.

Romney is the best candidate, McDonnell said, primarily because of his experience as a governor.

"I’ve been thinking about this for awhile," McDonnell said. "He's the best candidate for our team, a current or former governor. When I look at what’s wrong in Washington—a lack of leadership, budgets that can’t get balanced, 35 months of unemployment over 8 percent—we need an executive, and that's Mitt Romney."

As a Southern governor, pundits say McDonnell's endorsement could boost Romney's chances to come out on top in the South Carolina primary, where Romney is battling former Speaker Newt Gingrich, a McLean resident, for the top spot. Perry threw his support behind Gingrich.

Regarding Gingrich's possible problems related to charges by former wife Marianne Gingrich, McDonnell said that in the end, a politician's personal life is on the back burner compared to the problems voters face today. "I think Speaker Gingrich handled that question well last night [in the televised debate]," McDonnell said. "I can tell you, what’s important to voters now is: 'How do we create jobs? How do we secure borders?' That's what matters, that's what people are going to vote on."

McDonnell announced his endorsement of Romney Friday morning via his Twitter feed at 8 a.m.: "I am pleased to announce my endorsement of Governor@MittRomney for President."

McDonnell, who chairs the Republican Governors' Association, is also touted as a possible vice presidential choice. "Any speculation is way too premature," he said on Friday. 

Jeff January 20, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Let's be frank. Gingrich and Santorum are both registered Virginia voters, so if one of them is nominated, he can't pick McDonnell to be the VP candidate. This last minute endorsement is a panic move by our desperate governor. Keeping the other candidates off the ballot in VA does not seem to have been enough for him.
Jeff Miller January 20, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Huh? Gov. McDonnell had no role in determining who's on the Virginia Presidential primary ballot. The requirements for the Virginia ballot are set by state law (which was enacted decades ago). Some of the Republican campaigns this year did not collect enough signatures - and those campaigns are responsible for their own shortcomings. Gov. McDonnell's endorsement of Gov. Romney was entirely consistent with his long-stated view that he'd like to see a Governor as the party's nominee for President.
Chipperson January 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Don't care who he endorses as long as that individual can get barry bama out off office and begin to correct the dangerous course he's steered our country in. Yea I'm a registered rebublican living amongst the liberal masses of Reston
Vasquez2 January 22, 2012 at 04:31 AM
That's OK, Chip, I'm a registered Democrat and I now tell everyone I'm an Independent because I'm ashamed of what my party has become. I voted for O and I'm still slapping myself on the forehead.
Marta D. Saltus January 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Too bad McDonnell aligned himself with the candidate that was beat by a landslide by Newt Gingrich!
Robert Kenyon January 22, 2012 at 04:24 PM
McDonnell is obviously measuring the drapes over at the Naval Observatory.
MichaEl Hirsch February 20, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Vasquez2, maybe it's time for some tea?
Just the Facts August 12, 2012 at 02:38 PM
McDonnell has been turned into a glorified cheerleader. The Governor is a lame duck on his way out. He has no political career ahead of him so he is now a man with no place to go. Huge defeat for him and a embarrassment for how his career will end. This is what happens when you get elected and do nothing but complain. The taxpayers do not want more leaders that do nothing but complain about the other party. We want the parties to work together. McDonnell, Wolf and Allen just are more of the same. We need leaders who can work with both parties. The above are more of the same.
Just the Facts August 12, 2012 at 02:57 PM
McDonnell's career is now done. Lame duck Governor that has no place to go. I guess he will be asking his rich donors for a job after his term is finished. Just what has he accomplished as Governor? Not what he takes credit for but just what did he accomplish? Under his watch how did Virginia do under his watch? Compare him to Warner and Kaine and it's obvious who did more for the Commonwealth. We need leaders that work for Republican and Democrats and independents. The Republican's have become a party that reminds me of Hitler. To be honest is makes for a scary America if this continues. We need a change.
MichaEl Hirsch August 12, 2012 at 05:31 PM
With the given majority in the General Assembly and considering the proper alignment of the vote of the Lieutenant Governor in the Senate, Governor Bob McDonnell will finish strong! Governor McDonnell's programs and initiatives are going very well and look at that budget will you? (Probably not!) That taxpayer who doesn't vote has no voice and allows those who do to put in place the government that we have. Isn't it incredible that people pay taxes and don't vote? Last time I checked we've got it pretty good in District 17. Let's see, from the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor ,the Attorney General, our Speaker of The House, our State Senator, our Delegate and even in America's First District our Congressman. Humm...November may give us the SWEET SWEEP! President, Vice Presidnet and Senator! 2014 City Council......not as far away as some may think.
MichaEl Hirsch August 12, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I don't think so. You would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see the accomplichements. Your necessarily vague generalizations make no point. Just look at the Budget, Job Creation in our Commonwealth. Obviously you've never read the Virginia Republican creed.

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