From an email from Portman:
Because you are one of my top supporters, I wanted you to have a heads up that I plan to endorse Mitt Romney for President tomorrow morning. As you may know, I had not planned on endorsing this early in the primary process. However, I decided to act sooner because I feel Mitt Romney’s policy positions, debate performances, and character make him the best candidate to take on President Obama. I also feel our chances in November will be improved by coalescing around one candidate and stopping the political attacks among Republicans. President Reagan’s 11th Commandment came to mind: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican! I must admit, the attacks demonizing private investment and Mitt Romney’s private sector experience have also influenced my thinking.
I have included below the draft speech I plan to make tomorrow morning in South Carolina that further explains my reasons. For the sake of my family, your family, the people of Ohio, and for the sake of our great country, I hope Barack Obama will be replaced by Mitt Romney in the Oval Office next year.
Here is Portman’s email from this morning, and the speech he plans to give in South Carolina:
Today I will be endorsing Mitt Romney for President. I had not planned on endorsing this early in the primary process. However, I feel one candidate’s policy positions, debate performances, and character make him the best candidate to take on President Obama, and I feel our chances in November will be improved by coalescing around one candidate and stopping the political attacks among Republicans.
I admire all of our candidates. They have been willing to throw their hats in the ring, endure long days on the road, time away from their families and plenty of criticism from many quarters, all in a selfless effort to help the country they love. Each has his strengths.
But I have become convinced that one of those candidates is the right person to lead our nation in perilous times. That leader is Mitt Romney, and I am proud to stand at his side.
All the best,
It’s great to be here today in the Palmetto State where, once again, the people of South Carolina will be playing a key role in choosing our Party’s nominee — this time during a time in our nation’s history when the stakes could not be higher.
And that’s why I am here, now, endorsing sooner than I had planned, and all the way from Ohio. No, it was not simply to get away from the snow, but to help the man who I really want to see as the next President of the United States, the candidate who I believe will be best equipped to take on President Obama, and to lead our nation back in the right direction.
I admire all of our candidates: they have been willing to throw their hats in the ring, endure long days on the road, time away from their families and plenty of criticism from many quarters, all in a selfless effort to help the country they love. Each has his or her strengths.
But I have become convinced that one of those candidates is the right person to lead our nation in perilous times. That leader is Mitt Romney and I am proud to stand at his side.
I have had the opportunity to work for two presidents, and have seen firsthand the tough decisions that come across a president’s desk and the kind of steady leadership required in the Oval Office. And home in Ohio I have seen firsthand the desperate need for a new kind of leadership to turn things around in this economy and bring back the hope, the middle class jobs and the opportunity that defines the American dream.
Mitt Romney combines the personal traits, knowledge and experience to be that leader: to be as successful as president as he has been in everything else he has attempted in his life. He is in this race for the right reasons. I have watched him and spoken to him: It’s not about him, and it is not about partisan advantage. It is about helping Americans achieve their great potential.
And he is smart, determined and compassionate, These character traits, combined with his depth of knowledge of finance and business and what it takes to create jobs, along with his optimism and his love of country have convinced me that he represents the best hope for restoring America’s greatness.
The choice is so clear–
If you feel that the Obama administration has lost its way and we need a fresh, new direction, and a decisive, principled leader in the White House, Mitt Romney is your man.
If you, a family member or a friend are out of work or worry about your next paycheck, but know that the federal government can’t spend its way to prosperity, and instead believe it is the private sector that creates the middle class jobs we need, Mitt Romney is your man.
If you agree that government has grown too large, too powerful and too invasive, and that excessive federal regulation and Washington’s complicated and loophole-riddled tax code are choking small businesses and making it more costly and difficult to add jobs, Mitt Romney is your man.
If you believe that every life is precious, Mitt Romney is your man.
If you think a record $15 trillion National Debt threatens the future our kids and grandkids, Mitt Romney is your man.
If you don’t want the Federal Government dictating what kind of medical care works for your family, and you want a president truly committee to energy independence, Mitt Romney is your man.
If you believe that America’s military needs to be strong and respected to keep the peace and remain a force for freedom, Mitt Romney is your man.
If you are looking for a president who will work with Congress and the American people to solve big problems, not blame others while acting as spectator-in-chief, Mitt Romney is your man.
And If you believe that the President of the United States needs to represent all Americans, and work to bring people together, not further divide us at this critical time, Mitt Romney is your man.
It is time to take a stand. It is time for our great Party to come together around someone who can defeat President Obama in November and begin the task of repairing our broken economy, and ensuring that the United States remains that shining beacon of hope and opportunity for the rest of the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, to get America back on track, Mitt Romney is our man. Thank you very much!