Tim Pawlenty endorses Mitt Romney

Published: Monday, Sept. 12 2011 7:27 a.m. MDT

After dropping out of the GOP presidential race only weeks ago, ex-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is now backing his formal rival Mitt Romney for the nomination.

Pawlenty said Romney would not only win the nomination on Fox and Friends this morning, but also predicted he would be a "transformational and great president.

In an email sent to Romney supporters, Pawlenty wrote that Romney represented a second chance for America after electing President Barack Obama in 2008.

Mitt Romney is running for president, and I am proud to endorse him, wrote Pawlenty. Alone among the contenders, he possesses the unique qualifications to confront and master our severe economic predicament. His abiding faith in our country's exceptional historical position as a beacon of freedom will make him the most important leader in a world that depends upon a strong America to stay at peace.

This endorsement comes only months after Pawlenty criticized Romney for passing a universal healthcare bill in Massachusetts which Barack Obama said was a model for his own healthcare legislation at one point Pawlenty called Obamas plan Obamneycare after both Obama and Romney.

When pressed on the issue, Pawlenty said he had talked health care with Romney was convinced that, "Mitt Romney is 100 percent dedicated and committed to repealing Obamacare."

In the wake of the endorsement, Politicos Alexander Burns wrote, Pawlenty's endorsement will give at least a symbolic boost to Romney and could help shake loose some other unaligned establishment support in the race. Because Pawlenty struggled to catch on with the general public, it's not clear that his nod will bring, on its own, a huge number of rank-and-file GOP voters into Romney's camp.

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