Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, more than three months after his state held the first in the nation voting contest.
“I purposefully withheld my endorsement until now, because I wanted my focus to be on uniting the Republican Party going into the fall,” Branstad explained at a press conference in Des Moines on Tuesday. ”Now, more than 3 month after the Iowa caucus, I believe the time has come to coalesce around one candidate.”
Branstad had kind words for each of the remaining GOP contenders, but in the end, he said, he believes Mitt Romney is the best candidate to take on Barack Obama. (Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign today in a speech to supporters in his home state.)
“Mitt Romney is going to be a strong general election contender,” Branstad said.
Mitt Romney ultimately placed second in the Iowa caucus–after he was initially called the winner. Several weeks after the January 3 caucus the Republican Party of Iowa announced that Rick Santorum had been officially declared the winner.
Branstad was asked whether he would be interested in joining the Romney ticket as VP. Branstad responded that he “wasn’t looking for anything.” He added that he “loves Iowa” and he wants to make a difference there.