On Wednesday night on Fox News’ “Hannity,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave an official endorsement to Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts Governor was flying high already after word came through earlier that day that former president George H.W. Bush would give him an official endorsement on Thursday. These two prominent Republicans are the latest to join the long list of Romney endorsements.
This was the endorsement that Romney wanted, especially considering the amount of respect that Rubio has been able to gather from conservatives nationwide.
The list now includes establishment Republicans like Majority Leader Eric Cantor and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, as well as rising stars like Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, deficit hawks like Senator Tom Colburn of Oklahoma, and businessmen like Donald Trump. Romney has also secured the endorsement of several prominent Tea Party favorites, including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell.
Romney’s list of endorsements is the most diverse of any of the four remaining Republican candidates. It is also the longest. Members of the anybody-but-Romney crowd continue to cry foul, believing that everyone who has endorsed him either was promised a position of prominence or is selling out to the establishment. A fact they may not realize yet is that his list of endorsements tally more than the other candidates combined, and Romney ran out of positions to nominate people for a long time ago.
People will now say that Rubio, who for the past two years has been heralded as the next great conservative leader, is selling out in a pay to play scheme. When Governor Haley endorsed Romney, she was raked over the coals by some of her biggest supporters.
At some point, people may have to consider that some people who are endorsing Romney are not selling their souls or throwing away their principles. Perhaps some of them really believe in the guy. It could be that some of them really believe he can win, and that he has the credentials to be a good president.
Of course, it is a distinct possibility that if Romney secures the nomination, his vice presidential nominee will be someone that endorsed him. Romney has secured the endorsement and trust of people from both the old guard and the next generation of leaders. Establishment and Tea Partiers. While endorsements do not carry the weight they did 20 years ago, they do speak volumes considering how diverse a list it is. Sooner or later, Romney supporters hope the rest of the GOP will come to realize that if elected, Romney will not sign a bill doubling down on Obamacare while personally performing an abortion in the oval office if elected.
As Rubio said during his endorsement, Romney “offers such a stark contrast to the president's record.” Rubio also said it best when he said that Romney had ‘earned’ his endorsement. Romney has taken a substantial beating by the other candidates, the press, and people who question his conservatism for over a year. Romney has had to earn respect. Even with all of his money, if there were nothing genuine there, he would have dropped out due to lack of support a long time ago.