MANCHESTER, N.H. – Mitt Romney has gained the support of two high-profile Republican leaders in New Hampshire in as many days, preparing today to announce the support of Granite State congressman Charlie Bass.
Bass’ endorsement, first reported by the Nashua Telegraph, comes hours after state Sen. Kelly Ayotte appeared at a rally in Nashua to announce her own support of the presidential candidate.
Bass previously endorsed Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in his presidential bids in 2000 and 2008. Bass, who will appear with Romney today at a campaign stop at Nashua’s BAE Systems, one of the state’s largest employers, will serve as co-chair of the New Hampshire steering committee and will be a member of the campaign’s national steering committee.
The endorsements of Bass, a moderate in the state, and Ayotte, a far more conservative leader who last year was backed by former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, leaves one GOP congressional member from New Hampshire up for grabs: Rep. Frank Guinta.
Guinta recently told the Nashua Telegraph that he plans to make an endorsement and has met with several of the candidates. “I feel that we’re in a much stronger position now that the date’s set for January. And, now, I’ll start to consider if I would actually endorse, but I am certainly considering it,” Guinta told the paper earlier this month.
Like Bass, Guinta endorsed McCain in the 2008 presidential primary but not until the days leading up to the state’s primary.
In a statement released by the Romney campaign, Bass wrote that, “Voters in New Hampshire and across our country are looking for a candidate that understands what our economy needs to recover and grow, that has the experience of creating jobs, and has the leadership qualities needed to bring the citizens of our nation back together in these challenging times. I firmly believe that Mitt Romney is the candidate that will renew our country’s faith in the American dream.”
Romney in a statement wrote that Bass “has stood up for the traditional New Hampshire principles of limited taxation and smaller government. In addition, congressman Bass understands that the current over-taxation and over-spending in Washington will only continue to hurt job creators. With his support, I hope to reverse the failed Obama fiscal policies that have hampered job creation and put a halt to economic growth.”