Pennsylvania’s Ridge, New York’s D’Amato Endorse Romney

Wednesday, 14 Mar 2012 04:16 PM

By Dan Weil

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Mitt Romney’s struggling effort for the Republican presidential nomination received endorsements from two party heavyweights Wednesday: former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and former New York Sen. Al D’Amato.

Ridge had backed former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman before he bowed out of the race in January. In addition to his tenure as governor, Ridge served as Homeland Security secretary for President George W. Bush, and he represented Pennsylvania in Congress for six terms. Ridge is a moderate who has supported abortion rights.

"I've met accomplished and strong leaders in my life," the Pennsylvanian said in a statement released by Romney's campaign, CNN reports. "Mitt Romney is one of them." He lauded Romney for his "record of accomplishment in the private sector," specifically his successful leadership of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

"Given the economic problems that America faces, including Pennsylvania, where high unemployment continues to cause such hardship, his experience turning around failing enterprises makes him precisely what the country needs," Ridge said, according to CNN.

Pennsylvania’s primary will be held April 24. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is currently leading polls in his home state. On Tuesday, Romney received endorsements from Pennsylvania Reps. Bill Shuster and Charlie Dent.

D’Amato, a conservative New Yorker, served in the Senate from 1981 to 1999. “I am proud to endorse Gov. Romney and support his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the presidency,” D’Amato said Wednesday at a fundraising lunch for Romney in New York City, Politico reports.

“It is time for Republicans across the country to embrace Gov. Romney and make him our nominee. Most importantly, of all of the Republicans running for the nomination, Gov. Romney is the only one who has a chance of defeating President Obama this November.”

D’Amato also cited Romney’s business acumen, Politico reports. “Gov. Romney is a successful businessman. He understands how our economy works and has a proven record of creating jobs. We need a man with his experience to take charge and lead our economy, or we’ll have four more years of the most liberal, tax-and-spend administration we have ever seen.”

New York holds its primary April 24, just like Pennsylvania.

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