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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate President Mike Haridopolos endorses Mitt Romney

18

January

Senate President Mike Haridopolos broke his silence Wednesday and endorsed primary frontrummer Mitt Romney for the Republican Presidential Primary saying the negative attacks propelled him to to entre the fray.

"I was not planning to publicly endorse a candidate before the Florida primary.  However, I have grown deeply concerned and disappointed about the attacks being launched on Mitt Romney by other candidates.  I believe we are the party of better ideas,'' Haridopolus, R-Merritt Island, said in a statement.

But exactly 43 minutes after Haridopolos' endorsement, this item arrived in our email box from the Romney campaign, entitled: "Newt Gingrich: Leadership by chaos" and it linked to this Gingrich-bashing interview with two Republican congressment.

House Speaker Dean Cannon months ago endorsed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary. Haridopolos joins Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to endorse the former Massachusetts governor. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has not formally endorsed although was an early advocate of Perry joining the race.

Haridopolos, who dropped out of the primary race for U.S. Senate in August, also chastised Romney's opponents for "spending too much time on misleading and counter-productive attacks. 

"Those attacks on a fellow Republican won’t help our party secure victory in November and may, in fact, help President Obama get re-elected,'' he said. "It’s time for Republicans to be the party of better ideas and debate how we grow our economy and create new jobs - and I believe Mitt Romney is the best man for the job."

More from Haridopolos' statement:

“Mitt Romney possesses solid private sector experience and has a proven conservative record - he is a principled, limited-government Republican who is focused on cutting spending, implementing tax reform, and reducing government red tape.  He is the only candidate to outline a plan to deal with our economic competitors abroad, and he’s run an honorable campaign to uphold the principles of the Republican Party and defend the ideals that make America exceptional. I encourage all Florida Republicans to support Mitt Romney in the primary and to work hard for him in the general election to ensure President Obama is a one-term president.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 5:22pm]

    

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