Charles Dharapak, AP
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at American Legion Post 176 in Springfield, Va., Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Mitt Romney has the backing of The Gazette heading into Wednesday's presidential debate.

The Colorado Springs newspaper ( endorsed the Republican candidate, saying that he projects passion for prosperity, freedom and a strong military.

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Romney told the newspaper's editorial board that he would restore funding for the military if elected and allow the military budget to grow with inflation or more.

The newspaper said it extended multiple invitations to President Barack Obama's campaign but the campaign rejected a visit on Monday.

Colorado Springs, the state's second largest city, and surrounding El Paso County is a Republican stronghold. It's home to several key military installations, including the headquarters of U.S. Northern Command, and many retired service members.