The story that South Carolina’s Jim DeMint has endorsed Mitt Romney is another bit of excellent news for the Romney campaign. Unlike John McCain’s point man in the Palmetto State, Lindsey Graham, Senator DeMint is widely admired by conservatives across the country. DeMint also has a good statewide organization, and I expect the Presbyterian DeMint will appear frequently to explain why other evangelicals ought not to be concerned by Romney’s Mormon faith.
UPDATE: From a Senate source, the letter DeMint has sent announcing his endorsement:
January 8, 2007
Dear Fellow Republican,
I’m writing to ask for your support of Governor Mitt Romney for President. Over the next 10 years, America will face unprecedented challenges. We must elect a President in 2008 who is up to the task, and I need you to encourage Mitt to run.
The threat of terrorism will continue to grow. America’s energy needs will increase, and so will our dependence on foreign oil. The number of retirees will increase dramatically, and without major reforms, the future of Social Security and Medicare will be in peril. Without strong leadership, illegal immigration will continue to cost American taxpayers billions of dollars. America’s education system and global competitiveness will continue to decline without major changes. I believe Governor Romney will provide the leadership America needs to meet this new generation of challenges.
America’s success and strength emanate from the private sector: traditional faith-based values, families, churches, volunteerism and free enterprise. We must elect a President who understands the strength of America. Governor Romney has spent most of his life outside of government. He has been a successful businessman and national leader. As governor, he has taken Massachusetts from large debts to surpluses while holding the line on taxes. He has been married to his wife Ann for 37 years; they have 5 boys and 10 grandchildren. Their lives reflect the best of America’s traditions and values.
Governor Romney has helped to start and manage national and international companies. He understands the global economy, capital formation and the need to make America more competitive. When the nation needed him to save the failing and bankrupt 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Mitt Romney volunteered to take over the leadership of an event which was headed towards a national embarrassment. He served for over two years with no salary and even contributed Senator Jim DeMint $1 million of his own money to make sure the Olympics went forward. His leadership resulted in one of the most successful Olympics in history. Mitt Romney made America proud.
As Governor he faced down a $3 billion deficit and balanced the budget. He passed innovative health care reforms and education scholarships based on achievement. He fought an activist state court that imposed same-sex marriage on the people of his state and he championed the Federal Marriage Amendment. Once again, he did not take a salary for his public service as Governor.
We need a President who will welcome new ideas and yet knows when to take charge